HQ IDS is responsible for various issues pertaining to defence policies and planning of force structure of the Services. This involves a comprehensive (qualitative and quantitative) joint assessment of the three Services, including formulation and inter inter-Service prioritization of Capability Development Plans and Procurement Plans. It thus covers the entire spectrum of converting higher intent into capabilities required and further into precise Long, Medium and Short Term Plans. The formal procurement process for capital acquisition is governed by the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) -2016. Once the required weapon systems/equipment/platforms etc are identified by the Service HQs, the procurement process commences. This process entails formulation of service specific Long Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) which is integrated into the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP). The LTIPP covers a 15 year period and is further split into three five-year Services Capital Acquisition Plans (SCAP), also known as five year Defence Plans which indicates the list of equipment to be acquired by the Services to meet their operational requirements keeping in view the availability of funds. These are further divided into two year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans (AAP) which are formulated in consultation with Service Headquarters. While the LTIPP and SCAP are approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the RM, the AAP which is a subset of the SCAP, is approved by the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) chaired by the Defence Secretary.

To translate these plans into procurement, each case is routed through Categorisation Committees namely Services Capital Acquisition Plan Categorisation Committee (SCAPCC), Services Capital Acquisition Plan Categorisation Higher Committee (SCAPCHC), Defence Procurement Board (DPB) & Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). HQ IDS provides secretarial support to SCAPCC, SCAPCHC and the DAC whereas the DPB Secretariat is manned by the Acquisition Wing of MoD. HQ IDS is also involved in monitoring status of Capital Acquisition Proposals (post AON), of the services as well as other stake holders.