Defence: Empowering DRDO and Defence, Triumf, Tejas (Download PDF)

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Greater financial power to the DRDO. Greater decision making powers with the secretary, defence research and development and its seven directors-general (DGs) by the defence ministry. Projects/procurements up to ₹ 150 core can now be sanctioned by the DRDO. This amount was ₹ 75 crore earlier. Projects up to ₹ 75 crore can now be sanctioned by the DGs which was earlier ₹ 50 crore.


  • Parliament՚s standing committee on defence headed by BC Khanduri.
  • DRDO was pulled up for serious delays in projects and wastage of tax-payers՚ money by ditching projects mid-way.
  • There is a lack of adequate funding (receives just 5 - 6 % of the defence budget) .
  • Greater decentralization is required.

Reforming Defence Acquisition in India

  • Many decisions already taken by India on its defence acquisition policy landscape.
  • Implementation failure.

Initiatives Taken on Defence Acquisition

  • The Defence Production Policy 2018.
  • Setting targets for getting India into the world՚s top five defence producers.
  • Creating 3 million jobs in the defence industry by 2025.
  • Promised to increase defence exports ten-fold to $ 5 billion.
  • Discharge of the offsets by the vendors by creating defence manufacturing infrastructure which includes testing laboratories, ranges and skill centres.
  • To review critical weapon procurements Raksha Mantri՚s Advisory Committee on Ministry of Defence Capital Projects (RMCOMP) was set up.

Defence Procurement Organization

  • Proposed by the Dhirendra Singh Committee
  • Outside Ministry of Defence
  • New DPO must holistically focus on defence acquisition, not just procurement.
  • The straight purchase of existing defence equipment from global or domestic “original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ” .
  • Refurbished DPO must focus exclusively on equipment acquisition.

Must be empowered to meet a service requirement through:

  • Direct purchase
  • Manufacture under technology transfer
  • Through an MMP nearing fruition

Indigenous Defence Production-Tejas Case

  • Tejas the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, which is getting delayed due to procedural challenges.
  • The Tejas or ‘radiance’ .
  • Smallest lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft in the world.
  • Designed jointly by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) .
  • Works as per the Air Staff Requirement (ASR) issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1985.


  • Production is very different and complex.
  • The aircraft is still at the design and development stage.
  • Requires a production capability with a robust supply chain supported by competent sub-vendors.
  • HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) needs to bring in institutional flexibility to quickly adapt its production line.
  • IAF and HAL needs to work together for indigenous aircraft production process to be smooth.

Russia՚s S-400 Triumf

  • Ongoing stand-off between Russia and Western nations.
  • One of the world՚s most advanced air defence systems.
  • Large complex of radars, control systems and different types of missiles.
  • Can track numerous incoming objects in a radius of a few hundred kilometers simultaneously.
  • The objects may include all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs.

Evolution and Recent Development

  • Its origins to the demands of the Cold War period.
  • Development started towards the end of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
  • Disrupted by the collapse of the Communist bloc in 1991.
  • Centre stage in the American diplomacy regarding Russia.
  • S-400 is believed to access sensitive U. S. military technologies in service with the potential buyers.
  • India and Turkey are under pressure from the U. S. to buy this weapon.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 28, 2020


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