How Defence Ministry’s procurement of 10 lakh hand grenades from private sector is significant?
The Defence Ministry have placed orders with a private firm for the supply of 10 lakh hand grenades. It is first of its kind order. Until now, these products were either imported or made by the Ordnance factories. The grenades will be replacing the vintage design grenades that are used currently.
The contract has been placed with Economic Explosive Limited company which will supply the modern hand grenades in two years. The Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) had transferred the technology of grenade manufacturing to the company back in 2016 to proceed further. The purchase has been made at Rs 400 crores which is less as compared to the manufacturing cost of OFB. Indian Defence System is placing orders with a domestic manufacturer for the first time.
Loopholes in the Indian Defence System
Indian defence system is going through the challenges of poor and long-term planning, lesser technology transfers despite many mega deals and irregular procurements. CAG report recently found irregularities in the defence purchases and thus, there happens shortening of the deployment period. Further, there are gaps in army in infantry weapons, artillery, light helicopters and nigh fighters. The Indian Air Force does not have enough mid-air refuelers, fighter jets and drones. They are also short of minesweepers, multi role helicopters.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report says that, India is the fifth largest defence spender in the world after US, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. In the line, India is the second largest importer of arms in the world. Russia, Israel, France and US are the biggest exporters of equipment’s to India. But when it comes to exports, India has been ranked at 23rd in the list. Thus, India needs to boost its domestic manufacturing. This current order of grenades is a step forward of it. The domestic procurement will help India to achieve its goal of self-reliance in defence sector.