India on Thursday set the ball rolling for purchasing weapons and systems worth Rs 22,800 crore to enhance the military’s capabilities, a defence ministry spokesperson said.

The Defence Acquisition Council, the defence ministry’s top procurement body, green-lit the indigenous development and manufacturing of thermal imaging night sights for assault rifles to bolster the Make in India initiative. “The sights will be manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the frontline… would enable troops to undertake long range accurate engagement in dark and all weather conditions thereby enhancing the night fighting capabilities,” a release said.

The council also revalidated the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of additional Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The AoN is the first step towards making a military purchase. “The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft would be indigenously designed, developed and integrated onto the main platform by Defence Research and Development Organisation. These platforms would provide on-board command and control and ‘early warning’ which would assist the Indian Air Force in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time,” it added.

The DAC also approved procurement of additional P8-I maritime surveillance aircraft for the navy and twin-engine heavy helicopters for the coast guard.