India approves purchase of fighter jets, missile systems worth Rs 38900 crore
Under the new defence approvals, 21 MiG-29 fighter jets will be procured from Russia, while 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be bought from State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
The Union Defence Ministry on July 2, 2020 approvement the procurement of 33 frontline fighter jets, missile systems and other military hardware worth Rd 38,900 crore to boost the combat capability of the Indian Armed Forces amid heightened tensions between India and China at the border.
The Defence Ministry stated that under the new defence deals, 21 MiG-29 fighter jets will be procured from Russia, while 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be bought from State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
The Ministry has also approved a separate proposal of upgrading the existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft.
• The Defence Ministry informed in its statement that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved capital procurement worth around Rs 38,900 crore.
• The Defence Acquisition Council approved the procurement of the fighter jets to boost the fighting capability of the Indian Air Force amid the current tense border stand-off between India and China. The air surveillance has also gone up in Eastern Ladakh ever since the violent clash between the troops of the two nations, in which 20 Indian soldiers martyred.
• The purchase of the 12 new Su-30 MKI from HAL will cost the centre around Rs 10,730 crore, while the procurement of 21 MiG-29 and upgradation of the MiG-29 fleet is estimated to cost around Rs 7,418 crore.
• The DAC also approved the procurement of 248 ASTRA beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems. The missiles are designed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft. They have all-weather day and night capability.
• The acquisition of Pinaka missile systems and long-range land attack missile systems with a firing range of 1000 KM have also been approved by the DAC.
• The proposals for the procurement of software-defined radios for the Indian Army and BMP armament upgrades were also approved by the DAC.
• The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The Council is the highest decision-making body of the defence ministry on procurement.
The Defence Ministry in its press release referred to the current tense border situation and emphasised on the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of India’s borders. Further, the Ministry said that the new approvals are focussed on indigenous design and development, as they include acquisitions from Indian Industry amounting to at least Rs 31,130 crore. The equipment will be manufactured in India involving the Indian defence industry with the participation of several MSMEs and prime-tier vendors.
The Ministry stated that the indigenous content in some of these projects will make up 80 percent of the total project cost. It further informed that a large of number the current projects were made possible due to the Transfer of Technology by DRDO to the indigenous industry. The cost of the design and development proposals is expected to be around Rs 20, 400 crores.
The Ministry noted that the acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will help raise additional regiments, the addition of long-range land attack missile systems will boost the attack capabilities of both the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. The induction of the Astra Missiles with beyond visual range capability will also act as a force multiplier and bolster the strike capability of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The Indian and Chinese armies have been engaged in a bitter border standoff in Eastern Ladakh since over two months. The situation worsened when a violent clash broke out in Galwan valley in Eastern Ladakh on June 15 and both Indian and Chinese troops suffered casualties. Twenty Indian Bravehearts martyred in the clash.