New Delhi: The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) Tuesday cleared a Rs. 2,800 crore deal for boosting the night vision capabilities of the Indian Army's tanks and infantry combat vehicles, an official source said.
The DAC, which was headed by Defense Minister A.K. Antony approved the procurement of 2,000 pieces of night vision devices for T-72 tanks for Rs. 1,000 crore; 1,200 pieces for T-90 tanks for Rs. 960 crore and 1.780 pieces for infantry combat vehicles for Rs.860 crore.
While discussing the deal for purchasing AgustaWestland VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force, which has been put on hold after graft charges emerged, the meeting decided that the name of Brigadier Y.S. Saini, who allegedly figures in another deal, would first have to be cleared before any other action is taken.
Italian prosecutors investigating defense giant Finmeccanica have accused a serving Indian Army officer, identified as "Brigadier Saini", for allegedly demanded $5 million to influence a contract for 197 light helicopters in favour of the company's subsidiary, AgustaWestland.
The meeting, however, remained inconclusive over the issue of changes in the defense procurement procedures (DPP), the official said. This would now be taken up at its meeting on April 20.
The Council was expected to approve changes to procurement rules that would boost indigenization of defense procurement by giving a bigger role to the indigenous industry for supplying military hardware to the armed forces. In addition, it would give domestic industry, both public and private, the right of refusal before the import option is exercised.