In a move to boost 'Make in India' initiative of the government, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has signed a Rs 557 crore deal with state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) for procurement of 1,512 Mine Plough (MP) for Tank T-90 S/SK.
"The contract has Buy and Make (Indian) categorisation with a minimum of 50 per cent indigenous content in make portion of the contract," Ministry of Defence said in a notification on Monday.
These mine ploughs will be fitted on T-90 Tanks of Indian Armoured Corps which will facilitate individual mobility to Tanks while negotiating mine field. Mobility of Tank Fleet will enhance manifold, which in turn would extend the reach of Armoured Formation deep into enemy territory without becoming mine causality.
With the induction of these 1,512 mine ploughs, planned to be completed by 2027, the combat capability of the Army will be further enhanced, the ministry said.
A mine plough is a tank-mounted device designed to clear a lane through a minefield, allowing other vehicles to follow. Buried land mines are plowed up and pushed outside the tank's track path or tipped over. The T-90 Engineer Mine Plough gives a tank the ability to rapidly force a passage through mined obstacles by creating a cleared path for armoured fighting vehicles to follow.
Earlier this month, the Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council (DAC) had approved for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved, including acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore with focus on indigenous design and development.
Ahead of announcement, shares of BEML closed Monday's trade at Rs 642.05, down 1.25 per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
By Chitranjan Kumar