Six times since the infamous Bofors scandal of the 1980s, India has cancelled the purchase and upgrade of its artillery. This is set to change. At his very first opportunity to chair the Defense Acquisition Council meeting, Manohar Parrikar issued orders for a Request for Proposal to be launched for 814 mounted-gun systems. The guns will be bought under ‘buy and make’ category – the first 100 guns will be bought off the shelf from an original equipment manufacturer and the remaining 714 will be manufactured in India by an Indian company.
Indian companies are already working in tandem with their partners. Larsen & Toubro has a tie-up with Nexter of France, Tata with Denel of South Africa while Kalyani group has a tie-up with Elbit of Israel. The Russians are already working with the Ordnance Factory Board which is a unit of India’s Ministry of Defense.
The India Expert hopes that the seventh time is a charm for this acquisition program.