The Defense Ministry on Thursday approved the purchase of a range of military platforms and weapons, including light tanks, anti-ship missiles and long-range guided bombs, at a cost of Rs 84,328 crore to strengthen the combat capabilities of the armed forces. The procurement proposals were cleared by the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the purchase came amid heightened tensions between India and China after troops from both sides engaged in a clash along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Yangtse in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector. Sources said light tanks and a mounted gun system are set to be deployed in high forward areas, including along the LAC.
The Defense Ministry said the DAC has approved 24 capital acquisition proposals, which include six for the Indian Army, six for the Indian Air Force, 10 for the Indian Navy and two for the Indian Coast Guard, with a total contract value of Rs 84,328 crore. It said the proposals include the procurement of futuristic infantry fighting vehicles, light tanks, naval anti-ship missiles, multi-purpose vessels, a new range of missile systems, long-range guided bombs and next-generation coastal patrol vessels.
The ministry said 21 proposals worth Rs 82,127 crore will be procured from domestic sources. “It is pertinent to mention that 21 proposals worth Rs 82,127 crore (97.4 per cent) are approved for procurement from domestic sources. This unprecedented initiative by DAC will not only modernize the armed forces but also provide substantial support to the defense industry. achieve the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat ‘,” the ministry said.
It said the order for the army included futuristic infantry fighting vehicles, light tanks and a mounted gun system, adding that they would provide a quantum leap in the operational readiness of the force. “The approved proposals also include the procurement of ballistic helmets with an increased level of protection for our soldiers,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Approvals for procurement of naval anti-ship missiles, multi-role vessels and highly durable autonomous vehicles will further enhance naval power and strengthen the capabilities of the Indian Navy,” it said. The ministry said the Indian Air Force will be further strengthened with increased lethality by introducing new long-range missile systems, long-range guided bombs, conventional bomb range enhancement kit and advanced tracking systems.
“The procurement of next-generation coastal patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard will enhance surveillance capabilities in coastal areas to new heights,” it said. India is focusing on strengthening the combat capabilities of the armed forces deployed along the LAC along the eastern line of Ladakh.
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