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MoD approves military purchases worth over Rs 5,500 crore for Indian Air Force

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NEW DELHI (PTI): In a major decision, the defence ministry has approved military purchases worth over Rs 5,500 crore, including procurement of 12 high power radars for the Indian Air Force.

The decision was taken on Thursday at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The DAC, defence ministry's highest decision-making body on procurement, was scheduled to discuss the broad contours of Indian Navy's ambitious project to build six advanced submarines under the multi-billion P-75 (I) programme. But, it was not known whether there was any decision on it during the meeting.

Sources had said that the state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) is likely to be given the responsibility to implement the project as against the government's earlier indication that private shipbuilders would be involved in constructing the submarines.

The DAC met here on Thursday and accorded approval for the procurement of equipment for the defence forces valued at over Rs 5,500 crore, the ministry said.

Pursuing the goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in the field of defence procurements, the DAC approved procurement of 12 High Power Radars for the Indian Air Force , it said.

The radars will provide long range medium and high altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories, the ministry said.

Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of antenna and will operate on 24 x 7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement. Their procurement will enhance the overall efficacy of the Air Defence network in the country, it said.

The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) for the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Army from Indian Shipyard.

These vessels would offer great advantage over conventional boats or crafts with their ability to travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats or small crafts due to draught restrictions and uncharted depths.

These craft offer capability enhancement for the services, and would prove useful for amphibious and riverine operations, especially where there is a requirement to move men and material from one island to another island, across riverine terrain, creeks etc.

ACVs will improve swift movement of soldiers and equipment at very high speed in challenging areas.

The DAC also reviewed implementation of various procurements of military platforms.

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