The government on Thursday approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MiG-29 along with upgradation of existing 59 Mig-29 aircrafts and procurement of 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts. The government-to-government procurement was in process for over a year. The purchase of aircrafts is expected to boost the strength of the Indian Air Force (IAF). This proposal was approved along with others, amounting to an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore, at the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.
"While the MiG-29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
"In the current situation and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of our borders and in line with our Prime Minister's clarion call for 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' the Defence Acquisition Council in its meeting of July 2, 2020 held under the Chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh accorded approval for Capital acquisitions of various platforms and equipments required by the Indian Armed Forces. Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved," it stated.
The approvals granted today include acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore with focus on indigenous design and development.
"The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost. A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry," the Ministry stated.
The DAC also approved procurement of long range land attack cruise missile systems with a range of 1,000 km and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force. The panel also gave the go-ahead to procurement of Pinaka missile systems for raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted. Other acquisitions include BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army. The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore, the Defence Ministry said.
The procurement of aircrafts and other platforms comes at a time when border tensions between India and China are at a high.