India has down selected two domestic Defence firms, one of which will execute the Indian Army's Tactical Communication System project worth over $2 billion (Rs.10,000 crore).
This path-breaking move by the Indian Defence Ministry comes as a boost to the private sector Defence companies, as a special purpose company floated by Larsen & Tubro, Tata Power SED and HCL Infosys Limited, all private sector major that have entered into the Defence business, is one of the down-selected firm.
The other firm chosen as one of the two development agencies is the state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
TCS, thus, becomes the first 'Make' programme under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2011. As per the DPP, the 'Make' programme will have the government providing 80 per cent of the funds for the development phase and rest 20 per cent funds will come from the industry.
Both the private consortium and the public sector Defence undertaking, the two development agencies chosen for TCS, are supposed design and develop the project and make the prototype. Of the two firms, the lowest bidder will be finally awarded the project.
This selection is an outcome of rigorous rounds of scrutiny and years of concerted efforts put in by the Corps of Signals of the Indian Army jointly with the Indian Defence industry.
TCS, when finally built and executed, will replace the obsolete radio communication network of the Indian Army meant for battlefield communication and tactical communication.
The TCS is expected to ensure safe and secure communication infrastructure for the Indian Army in a network-enabled environment.
Reacting to the development, Confederation of Indian Industry Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said, "
Commenting on the Defence Ministry decision to select the two companies, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) said, "Given the size of the project, as entire tactical communication of the Indian Army has to be catered to, the project has the potential to change the face of Indian Defence industry in general and Defence electronics in particular."
The idea of 'Make' projects was conceived several years ago. Kelkar Committee on Defence was instrumental in pushing forward the idea and finally, in 2006, it was introduced in the DPP.
Banerjee further stated that the Indian private Defence industry is very keen to know the outcome of the second 'Make' project, the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV).