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Defence Ministry clears procurement of military hardware worth Rs 45,000 cr

Sukhoi-30MKI fighters of India. (File photo)

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has cleared nine procurement proposals of around Rs 45,000 crore including ones to acquire12 Su-30 MKI fighter jets as well as Dhruvastra air-to-surface missiles and upgrade of Dornier aircraft.

The approval to the procurement proposals under the framework of 'Make in India' initiative came on Sept. 15 (Friday) amid the lingering border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

The go ahead to the Indian Air Force's proposal to carry out the avionics upgrade of the Dornier fleet to improve its accuracy and reliability is considered significant as technical snags were reported in the aircraft on a number of occasions earlier this year.

"The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for nine capital acquisition proposals of approx. Rs 45,000 crore," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The AoN refers to the initial approval to any defence acquisition project. The meeting of the DAC that approved the nine proposals was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

"All these procurements will be made from Indian vendors under Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDMM)/ Buy (Indian) category which will give substantial boost to the Indian defence industry towards achieving the goal of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'," the Defence Ministry said.

In the DAC meeting, Singh stated that it is time to upgrade the ambitions towards indigenisation.

"Rather than a threshold of 50 per cent indigenous content for IDDM projects, we should aim for a minimum 60-65 per cent indigenous content," he said.

To enhance protection, mobility, attack capability and increase survivability of mechanised forces, the DAC accorded the approval for procurement of Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S), it said in a statement.

The DAC also cleared the procurement of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) gun towing vehicles for swift mobilisation and deployment of artillery guns and radars.

The DAC further approved procurement of next generation survey vessels for the Indian Navy, the Ministry said.

It said a proposal of the Indian Air Force to ensure avionic upgrade of Dornier aircraft to improve the accuracy and reliability for operations was also given the AoN.

"The procurement of Dhruvastra short range air-to-surface missile as a potent Indigenous Precision Guided Weapon for indigenously built ALH Mk-IV helicopters has been cleared by the DAC," the Ministry said.

"The AoN for procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was also accorded," it said.

In the DAC meeting, the Defence Minister directed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and DG (Acquisition) to work towards increasing the minimum indigenous content threshold in consultation with the Indian industry, the Ministry said.

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