Defence Ministry inks two contracts with BEL, worth Rs 2,400 crore

In yet another boost to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, Ministry of Defence, on March 29, 2023, signed three contracts – two with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Ghaziabad and one with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) – at a total cost nearly Rs 5,400 crore, to bolster the defence capabilities of the country.

The first contract with BEL pertains to procurement of Automated Air Defence Control & Reporting System ‘Project Akashteer’ worth Rs 1,982 crore for the Indian Army.

The second contract with BEL relates to acquisition of Sarang Electronic Support Measure (ESM) systems along with associated Engineering Support Package from BEL, Hyderabad at an overall cost of Rs 412 crore for the Indian Navy.

The contract with NSIL, a Central Public Sector Enterprise under Department of Space, Bengaluru pertains to procurement of an advanced Communication Satellite, GSAT 7B, which will provide High Throughput Services to the Indian Army at an overall cost of Rs 2,963 crore.

All these projects are under Buy {Indian – IDMM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured)} category.

Project Akashteer

The Automated Air Defence Control & Reporting System ‘Project Akashteer’ will empower the Air Defence units of the Indian Army with an indigenous, state-of-the-art capability, to effectively operate in an integrated manner. Akashteer will enable monitoring of low level airspace over the battle areas of Indian Army and effectively control the Ground Based Air Defence Weapon Systems.

Sarang systems

Sarang is an advanced Electronic Support Measure system for helicopters of the Indian Navy, designed and developed indigenously by Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, Hyderabad under programme Samudrika. The scheme will generate an employment of approximately two lakh man-days over a period of three years.

Both the projects will encourage participation of Indian Electronics and associated industries, including MSMEs, who are sub vendors of BEL. 

Advanced Communication Satellite

The satellite will considerably enhance the communication capability of the Indian Army by providing mission critical beyond line of sight communication to troops and formations as well as weapon and airborne platforms. The geostationary satellite, being a first-of-its-kind in the five-tonne category, will be developed indigenously by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Many parts and sub-assemblies and systems will be sourced from indigenous manufacturers, including MSMEs and start-ups, thereby giving a fillip to the private Indian space industry, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The project will generate an employment of approximately three lakh man-days over a period of three and half years.