Defence spending is one of the most sensitive and monitored areas in the overall expenditure of a Government. The expenditure on defence personnel, equipment and arms & ammunition is as high as 25-30% of the Government expenditure in some countries. This is due to the fact that for every country the security of its territory, people and resources is of utmost priority. It, therefore, follows that the expenditure on defence is screened thoroughly and the Military Equipment Supplier is selected carefully ensuring both quality and economy.
Categories of military equipment:
There are several categories of military equipment which are procured by the Government, separately for the Army, Navy and the Airforce as well as common services. These include the following:
- Items like the aircraft, ships, submarines, tanks and other road vehicles;
- Arms and ammunition separately for the Army, Navy and the Air Force;
- Marine Corps and Coast Guard equipment;
- Electronics and communications like radio communication and telephone communications;
- Personal equipment like uniforms, armour, helmets, tools and so on;
- Special operations equipment like combat and all-terrain vehicles;
- Weapons and ordnance
In addition to these, a major component of expenditure and equipment goes towards research and development, particularly in nuclear weaponry.
Vendors and Suppliers:
In some countries the Military Equipment Supplier is selected from the national or international market, through a transparent tendering process, selecting the vendor who meets all the stringent norms. In a few cases, the production process is controlled by the Government itself. In either case, the manufacturing process is strictly monitored so as to conform to quality standards. As regards the supplies of extremely expensive equipment like aircraft, ships, submarines and tanks etc., the procurement is normally finalized as an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the governments of two countries, as distinct from a tendering process. However, for the other items, the suppliers or vendors are shortlisted by the respective governments based on their technical and financial capacities and strengths. These suppliers are permitted to participate in the tender process of the government. Such vendors or suppliers are referred to as the ‘Approved Suppliers’, separately for each category like Security equipment, lighting, safety, communication equipment (radio and telephone communications etc), uniforms and so on. Depending on the value, the purchase process is dealt either at the defence headquarters or at the regional units. The entire gamut of military equipment is so vast that several thousands of defence personnel are exclusively dedicated to the planning, procurement and stocking of military equipment and stores.