The requirements of defence equipment for the Indian Armed forces are met through both indigenous production and imports. Whilst considerable thrust has been accorded to indigenisation, certain equipment are imported due to non-availability of indigenous expertise, lack of vendor base and need for induction of such equipment based on threat perception. 73 contracts involving a value of Rs. 72,303.34 crore were signed with Indian vendors during the last two financial years (2014-15 and 2015-16). 85 cases involving Rs. 1,60,362 crore have been accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AON) by Defence Acquisition Council under the ‘Buy (Indian)’ ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy & Make’ categories.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an R&D Wing of Ministry of Defence, is primarily involved in design and development of strategic, complex and security sensitive systems in the fields of armaments, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars, combat vehicles, combat aircraft, sensors, etc., for the Armed Forces as per their specific Qualitative Requirements. Some of the major indigenously designed and developed weapon platforms that have been successfully inducted into the Services inter alia include Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Akash Missile Systems, Multi Barrel Rocket System – Pinaka, MBT Arjun Tanks, Sonars, etc.
Projects for defence research are undertaken by DRDO, based on the priorities of Armed Forces and existing capabilities. To involve private sector in defence R&D, projects are undertaken under ‘Make’ category. The Government has also launched Technology Development Fund (TDF) to involve industry, particularly SMEs in defence sector. According highest preference to ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)’ category of acquisition, and revision of ‘Make’ procedure in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 (DPP) are expected to catalyse investment into defence research, development and innovation.