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India approves AoNs for procurements worth USD3.6 billion

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved new procurement projects, including those for close quarter battle (CBQ) carbines and a command variant Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) – Command, worth INR287.3 billion (USD3.6 billion).

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that the procurements – approved through the provision of ‘Acceptance of Necessity' (AoN) status – include several significant platforms for the Indian Army, designed and developed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

These include “Guided extended-range rocket ammunition”, which the MoD said has a range of 75 km and an accuracy of 40 m, an Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type 1 rocket, and an ICV Command vehicle. The MoD said these procurements are worth INR86 billion.

Janes assesses that the ADM rocket is likely for use on India's Pinaka multibarrel rocket launchers to neutralise tanks and armoured personnel carriers, while the ICV Command platform is likely a modified version of the Indian Army's Soviet-era Sarath BMP-2 amphibious ICV.

The DRDO previously developed the command version of the BMP-2 – the BMP-2K – and delivered approximately 125 units to the Indian Army from about 2007, according to Janes World Armies. In its statement, the MoD said the ICV Command platform is equipped with “technology to collect, disseminate, share, and present real-time information to commanders”.

Other projects cleared by the DAC included the acquisition of 400,000 CBQ carbines, a 1,250 kw marine gas turbine generator for the Indian Navy's Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers, and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard. The MoD said the FPVs needed to have at least 60% indigenous content.

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