Govt’s nod to Rs 7000 cr worth defence purchases


(Online Desk)

Indian Air Force has given a go ahead by the government on Friday to purchase one more C-17 heavy transport aircraft and also approved the Coast Guard’s proposal to acquire six multi-mission maritime aircraft for Rs 5,500 crore, it is reliably learnt.

With this move, the Forces will be more equipped to counter Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare, defence sources claim.

Reliable sources said the government also gave its approval to procure 1,500 defence systems that would be placed on top of armoured vehicles.

Meanwhile, indigenous projects will be designed and developed by the defence public sector undertaking Bharat Electronics Limited with the approved cost of `1,265 crore. It is gathered that the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar-led highest acquisition body of the Defence Ministry approved four proposals worth over `7,000 crore in a meeting held on Friday afternoon.

The Defence Ministry also gave its approval to procure another C-17 Globemaster heavylift transport aircraft to enhance the Air Force’s strategic lift capability along with the go-ahead for the Coast Guard’s proposal to have six multi-mission maritime aircraft at a cost of `5,500 crore to boost maritime surveillance capability.

Sources claimed that the aircraft likely to be shortlisted for the Coast Guard is the C295, which is already being negotiated as a replacement for the Avro transport fleet of the Air Force.

When asked why the IAF is purchasing just one additional C-17 aircraft apart from the 10 already in its possession, sources said this is because it was the only aircraft available with Boeing.

Sources said the six aircraft to be purchased by the Coast Guard will be fitted with state-of-the-art “mission suite”, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

According to official sources, a proposal of the Army and the IAF for the acquisition of 55 low-level lightweight radar costing `419 crore was also cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), to give more teeth to the country’s air defence capability.

Moreover, two “classified” proposals for the acquisition of arms and ammunition for the Special Forces and another related to the Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) were cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council.

Parrikar, while reviewing the ongoing projects of the DRDO, could not discuss the much-delayed strategic partnership clause of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), since he has to rush to Goa to attend a BJP event.