Indian Defence Ministry approves purchase of defence equipment worth ₹8,722 crore

New Delhi: The defence ministry approved the proposals for the purchase of defence equipment, worth ₹87.22 billion. Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh recently announced that import of 101 items in the defence equipment list, will be banned to promote domestic manufacture. Most of the proposals for defence equipment purchase, approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), on Tuesday, will be manufactured by local companies. These include 106 trainer aircraft for the Indian Airforce.    

Proposals related to the purchase of defence equipment worth ₹87.22 billion were approved in the DAC meeting. These include a proposal for purchase of 106 trainer aircraft required by the Indian Airforce for basic training. These aircraft will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). HAL has developed ‘HHT-40’ basic training aircraft. In the first stage, 70 HHT-40 aircraft will be purchased. Once this fleet is operational, another 36 aircraft will be purchased from HAL.   

The latest edition of ‘Super Rapid Gun Mount’ (SRGM), will be purchased for Navy and the Coast Guard. These Guns will be purchased from BHEL. The SRGMs will be fitted on the Indian Navy warships and the patrol vessels of the Coast guard. It is being revealed that the latest edition of SRGM is capable of neutralising targets like missiles and Fast Attack Crafts.   

Also, the DAC has approved the purchase of the ‘Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot’ (APFSDS), used as ammunition in the tanks as well as short and medium calibre weapon systems. Purchase of ‘125 mm APFSDS’ has been approved for the Army. The ammunition to be purchased will have 70% ‘Made in India’ components. The DAC also approved the purchase of AK-203 rifles and modernisation of unmanned aircraft.  

India has expedited the purchase of defence equipment, given the rising tension with China. Last month, the DAC approved the purchase of defence equipment worth ₹389 billion. These included 33 fighter jets from Russia and the ‘Astra’ missiles for the Indian Navy. The direct purchasing limits of the Armed forces were also enhanced. As per the new amendment, it is within the powers of any of the armed forces to procure defence equipment worth ₹3 billion, directly, in case of an emergency.   

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