Government – As per the officials, the defense ministry on Thursday approved the purchase of 33 frontline fighter jets, several missile systems, and other military hardware worth of Rs 38,900 crore to strengthen the capability of the armed forces amid India’s tense border standoff with China.
They further said 21 MiG-29 fighter jets are going to be purchased from Russia while 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft are going to be procured from State-run aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) worth Rs 10,730 crore. A separate proposal to upgrade the prevailing 59 MiG-29 aircraft has also been approved.
The defense ministry is also purchasing 248 ASTRA beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems. This missile can engage and destroy highly maneuvering supersonic aircraft and it has all-weather day and night capability, the officials added.
The decision for these purchases was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) lead by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday amid the ongoing tension between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
DAC is the highest decision-making body of the defense ministry on procurement, also approved the purchase of Pinaka missile systems as well as the acquisition of long-range land attack missile systems with a firing range of 1000 KM.
Government – During a press release, the ministry referred to the “current situation and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defense of our borders” while talking about the decisions of the DAC.
Over the last seven weeks, there is an ongoing tension between the Indian and Chinese armies at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh. The tension increased further after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese army too suffered casualties but the details are not out yet.
In the statement, the defense ministry said capital procurement of Rs 38,900 crore was approved by the DAC.