Mandated after the June 15, 2020 brutal clash in the Galwan valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Emergency Procurement (EP) mechanism has transformed the Indian Army into a much more effective force equipped with some of the world’s cutting-edge equipment with niche technology.
While the first three EP tranches cost Rs 6,500 crore spread across 68 contracts, the spending in the fourth EP tranche, which cost Rs 11,000 crore, ended in September 2023 after facilitating more than 70 schemes. The total expenses incurred in the four tranches of the EP stood at Rs 17,500 crore.
A source in the defence establishment said, “A deeper look into this mechanism reveals the strategic vision behind it and its significance in strengthening India's military prowess… The EP has been instrumental in the capital procurement through approximately 140 schemes, spread across four tranches (EP I to IV).”
The source added, “The primary objective of EP was to plug critical operational gaps, especially along the northern borders. Major upgrades facilitated through the EP mechanism encompassed remote-control weapon systems, air defence missiles, anti-tank missiles, satellite downlink and recording systems, VSAT terminals, portable mobile terminals, secure army mobile systems, all-terrain vehicles, high mobility reconnaissance vehicles, radars, loiter ammunition, drones, counter drone systems, high endurance UAVs, ballistic helmets, navigation systems, and simulation systems.”
The breakup of the total expenditure in the four tranches shows a strong thrust on niche technology.
While about Rs 3,500 crore was spent on drones and counter drone systems, almost the same amount was kept aside for communication and non-communication equipment. The expense incurred on modern weapons, equipment, and ammunition came to about Rs 3,100 crore while Rs 2,400 crore was spent on equipment for intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance.
A salient feature of the EP mechanism is its emphasis on 'atmanirbharta' or self-reliance. A remarkable 50 per cent of contracts in the first three tranches were awarded to the domestic industry.
“The fourth EP tranche concluded with more than 70 schemes, all of which are contracted with Indian vendors,” the source added.