The Defence Ministry on Thursday approved a proposal to procure 21 MiG-29 fighter jets and 12 Su-30 MKI from Russia. The development comes amidst the border tension between India and China.
The Defence Ministry said “addressing the long felt need of the IAF to increase its fighter squadrons”, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MIG-29 along with upgradation of existing 59 MIG-29 aircraft and procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.
“While The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had a meeting on Thursday under the chairmanship of defence Minister Rajnath Singh. During its meeting, the DAC accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. 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 cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore,” it added. Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services, the ministry said
In the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, proposals worth Rs 38,900 crores were also given nod, of which acquisitions worth Rs 31,130 crores would be from Indian industry. The projects cleared include ammunition for Pinaka rocket launchers, BMP combat vehicle upgrades and software defined radios for Army.
While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of Long-Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1000 Km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force. Similarly, induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of Navy and Air Force.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reiterated his nation’s commitment to further strengthen the “special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries in all spheres.”