The Ministry of Defence signed three contracts – two with Bharat Electronics Limited, Ghaziabad and one with New Space India Limited – at a total cost of nearly Rs 5,400 crores, to bolster the defence capabilities of the country.
On March 29, 2023, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed three contracts worth Rs 5400 crores, two of them with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Ghaziabad worth Rs 2400 crores for the procurement of ‘Project Akashteer’ for the Indian Army and Sarang Electronic Support Measure System (ESM) for the Indian Navy.
The third Contract worth Rs 2963 crores was signed with New Space Indian Limited (NSIL), a public sector enterprise under the Department of Space, for an advanced communications satellite GSAT-7B for the Indian Army.
According to a statement from the ministry, this geostationary satellite is the first of its kind in the five-tonne category and will be indigenously developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
This satellite will considerably enhance the communication capability of the Indian Army by providing mission-critical beyond-the-line-of-sight communication to the troops and formations even airborne as well as weapon platforms.
A plethora of numerous sub-parts and systems will be obtained from Indigenous manufacturers. These include defence startups and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)
What is Project Akashteer?
The statement from the Defence Ministry revealed that ‘Project Akashteer’ worth Rs 1982 crores will empower Indian Army Air Defence System with the indigenous state-of-the-art capability to effectively operate in an integrated manner.
Additionally, it will enable monitoring of low-level airspace over battle areas of the Indian Army along with effectively controlling ground-based air defence weapon systems.
What is Project Sarang?
Sarang is an advanced ESM system for the helicopters of the Indian Navy designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, Hyderabad under the project Samudrika.
The Rs 412 crores contract for Sarang ESM Systems along with the associated engineering support package from BEL, Hyderabad will generate employment of approximately two lakh man-days for a period of three years, the statement added.
It is very noteworthy that these contracts fall under the wider umbrella of the (IDMM) Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured category which will surely support the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” vision of PM Narendra Modi.