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Govt clears proposal to buy Barak missiles for Indian Navy

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Surface-to-air missile Barak-8.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The government on Monday approved procurement of a fresh batch of Barak surface-to-air missiles for Naval warships from Israel to enhance India's maritime capability in view of the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region.

A meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, approved capital acquisition proposals totalling over Rs 860 crore, including for the purchase of Barak missiles.

The clearance to procure Barak missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advance Defense Systems Limited at an approximate cost of around Rs 500 crore comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected visit to the Jewish country. Almost all ships of the Indian navy will be equipped with these missiles.

Chairing the DAC meeting after taking charge as defence minister on March 14, Jaitley also issued directions to speed up procurement of military platform and weapons, defence ministry sources said.

The DAC, which is Defence Ministry's highest decision making body for capital acquisition, also accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for procurement of equipment such as underwater robot to counter mines in the sea.

The equipment is being procured as a repeat order with 'buy global' categorisation at a cost of approximately Rs 311 crore.

At the meeting, Jaitley took stock of various procurement proposals and issued directions for close monitoring and expeditious clearance of pending capital acquisition cases, said the sources.

He particularly asked for close monitoring of the proposals which are with CFA (Competent Finanancial Authority) and CNC (Contract Negotiation Committee).

The sources said DAC also reviewed several old proposals and gave instructions for their speedy processing.

The DAC also cleared procurement of 'Expendable Bathythermograph Systems', a small torpedo-shaped device that holds a temperature sensor and a transducer to detect changes in water temperature, for the Indian Navy which will be acquired from the US.

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