09:07 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Indian Army's T-90 Bhishma tanks (front) are driving during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2016

    India Launches Domestic Design Bureau to Cut Imports of Arms and Ammo

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    India has taken a big leap forward toward reducing defense equipment imports, by launching its own design wing.

    The Army Design Bureau will act as an interface between the Indian Army and the defense industry and will also play a crucial role in all acquisitions in order to promote local solutions to the Army’s modernization needs.

    Making a formal announcement, Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh said, "A lot of spare parts and inventory of the Army which were being procured through imports did not involve high end technology and as such could be made by domestic industries."

    As a precursor to this development, the Indian government, in its revised Defense Procurement Policy announced earlier this year, had given priority to "Indian designed" products in a separate category.

    An official spokesperson said that the Army has identified a list of products that domestic industry could help design and manufacture. The products include 125 mm smooth bore barrel guns, improved ammunition for T-72 and T-90 tanks, advanced drone target aircraft, tracked light dozers, assault trackways, aircraft refueling pumsp, expendable aerial targets, 1000hp (horsepower) engines for T-72 tanks, individual underwater breathing apparatus and auxiliary power units for tanks.

    The Army Design Bureau (ADB) will be based in New Delhi and will conceive and support homegrown technology for manufacturing spare parts and other inventory.

    This comes in the backdrop of delay in procurement of many products essential for the Indian Army. Procurement of arms and ammunition for assault rifles, bullet proof jackets, night-fighting capabilities for howitzers, missiles and helicopters has been waiting for years.

    India targeted some equipment for indigenous production but failed or delayed it on many accounts. Indian industries alleged that the Army had set unrealistic technical parameters. Now, opinions have changed, with a  Highly placed source in the Ministry of Defense telling Sputnik, “Technical parameters are generally aligned to international standards. We cannot compromise quality just because industries failed to fulfill or understand our demand. Army Design Bureau is definitely a major step in right direction.”

    The Indian Army requires more than 5.2 billion dollars to fulfill its ongoing requirements for modernization.

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