Defence Procurement Manual-2009 under review

The revised defence procurement manual 2009 (DPM) that is in the offing may simplify and smoothen procedures that involve buying military items from local industry, in particular for the Indian Air Force, a high ranking official said on Monday.

Many changes to the framework manual have been strongly recommended based on procurement experience and feedback from industries that supply items to the IAF’s aircraft programmes. The Ministry of Defence revised the procurement policy in 2016.

“I’m sure the revised DPM will be suitable enough for all of us so that transaction procedures become efficient,” said Air Marshal Sanjay Sharma, AOC Maintenance and head of indigenisation, at a seminar for vendors from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

This year, IAF would indigenise - or get made in the country - 700 items for military aviation. Over the next five years, it would source 1,700 items from the MSMEs. Overall, 47,000 items have been localised so far, he told the seminar organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

From small items such as bolts and fasteners, local production for military aircraft, he said, has enlarged to tyres and tubes. IAF plans to get testers and sub-assemblies of bigger systems also made within the country to save cost of imports and time to source them. Ground electronics segments such as communication network systems would be good opportunities.

While the IAF has no budget limit on indigenising its items, the vendors should comply with the criteria and the schedules, he cautioned.

T. Suvarna Raju, CMD of military aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., which sources from 1,000 MSMEs, is now offering its technology of large aircraft structures to domestic manufacturers. It has outsourced the production of the body structure or fuselages of its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to four industries and will continue this model with its other aircraft, he said.

Currently about 50% to 60% of procurement military requirements are imported. Under successive procurement policies and the ‘Make in India’ strategy, the new opportunities are in aircraft MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) facilities, high-end electronics and mechanical items, sub-systems, aircraft spares, tools, testing and ground equipment, according to the organisers.

Over the year, the chamber has held similar thematic interactions in three cities with local industry, its official said.