Indian Defence Ministry Approves Massive Weapons Procurement Amid Border Crisis with China

India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces amid the heightening border crisis with China.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence, proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore (USD 5.2 billion) were approved during the DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore (USD 4.17 billion). The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost. A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry.

The approval included ammunition for Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launch (MBRL) system, armament upgrades for BMP-2/2K Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV) and software defined radios (SDR) for the Indian Army; and Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems (LRLACM) and Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF). The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore (USD 2.7 billion.

Pinaka missile system
Pinaka missile system. Indian MoD Photo.

Acquisition of new and additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services. While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1,000 kilometres to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force. Similarly induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Navy and Air Force.

The DAC has also approved the procurement of 21 MiG-29 and 12 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft addressing the long felt need of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to increase its fighter squadrons. The proposal for the upgradation of existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft was also approved.

While the MiG 29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore (~USD 1 billion), the Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore (~USD 1.4 billion).

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