New Delhi, Dec. 18:
The defence ministry on Thursday approved procurement of weapons and military equipment worth Rs 28,000 crore including six airborne warning and control system aircraft for the Indian Air Force, official sources said.
The procurement proposals were cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The proposals approved by the DAC also include procurement of 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs. 9,000, the sources said, adding another proposal to acquire 38 naval versions of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile was also cleared.
In a statement, the defence ministry said the DAC approved capital acquisition proposals for various weapons, platforms and equipment required by the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force at an approximate cost of Rs. 28,000 crore.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) currently has three Phalcon airborne warning and control system aircraft (AWACS). Last year, the IAF conveyed to the government the need for speeding up procurement of more AWACS to plug the gaps in the air defence mechanism.
Under the proposal approved by the DAC, six AWACS will be acquired at a cost of Rs. 10,990 crore and the project will be implemented by the DRDO.
“Six of the seven proposals, that is, Rs. 27,000 crore out of Rs. 28,000 crore for which AoNs (Acceptance of Necessity) were granted will be sourced from the Indian industry to give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives,” the ministry said.
The acquisition proposals approved also include a batch of modular bridges for the Indian Army.
“This is the first meeting of the DAC under the new regime of Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 and these are the first set of AoNs accorded with majority AoNs being accorded in the highest categorisation of Buy Indian (IDDM),” the ministry said.