Till recent past focus of Indian Defence Acquisition programmes had been acquiring combat capability and not broader aspect of strategic imperative for long-term self-reliance by acquiring industrial capability to manufacture and resuscitate systems over a life cycle. For Geopolitical and economic reasons, we need a vibrant indigenous defence industrial base, necessitating shift in focus through 'Make in India' to gear up Defence industrial capability building and technology security. Creating an elaborate defence technology & engineering ecosystem, with indigenous and foreign technology for architecting, design, testing, evaluation & production of defence equipment can only come through JVs & technology transfers.
Ministry of Defence in recent past have accelerated the move in this direction. This is evident from some recent procurement and policy initiatives such as - no preference by nomination, single tender bogey, etc. besides moving ahead on strategic partnership and a new defence procurement organisation.
The Strategic Partnerships model proposal envisaged to harness strengths of private industry to create capacity and infrastructure for these strategic segments, over and above to fire up the competitive zeal in the defence public sector units. Hence, need for institutionalising a transparent, objective and functional mechanism to encourage broader participation of the private sector in defence manufacturing under the 'Make in India' framework.
The underlying objective is to create additional capacity in the private sector on a long term basis 'over and above the capacity and infrastructure that exists in the public sector units' for projects that are of strategic importance. The 'Strategic Partnership Model', will try to ensure that the DPSUs do not keep getting nominated for projects by default or design.
Parallerlly there is a move to create a 'professional and empowered' Defence Procurement Organisation (DPO), working in conjunction with others, to amalgamate a fragmented, long winded and cumbersome defence acquisitions, offsets and defence production. This will also help to build a robust defence industrial base (DIB) by catalysing the defence-industrial ecosystem in the county.
In this issue, we deliberate on integration and draw the emerging contours of the SP Models and keeping the fingers crossed that it does not meet the fate of RUR.