Defence News India: India’s ministry of defence Thursday cleared a slew of proposals to buy Sukhoi-30 MKI and Mig-29 Russian combat jets, long-range indigenous cruise missiles and beyond visual range (BVR) Astra missiles for Indian Air Force and Indian Navy as it prepares to face an aggressive China. The decision comes in the wake of a violent face-off between the Indian Army and Chinese PLA on June 15, which resulted in death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh region in a fierce hand-to-hand combat.
In a meeting presided by defence minister Rajnath Singh, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), India’s apex body for approving defence procurement, Thursday cleared defence procurement worth Rs 38,900 crrores ($5.2 billion).
“In the current situation and the need to strengthen the Armed Forces for the defence of our borders…Defence Acquisition Council under the chairmanship of defence minister Rajnath Singh accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces,” MoD said in a statement
The decision includes procurement of 21 Mig-29 fighters from Russia, production of 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI heavy fighter-bombers by the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and also the upgrade of 59 Mig-29s of Indian Air Force by Russia.
India will spend Rs 7,418 crore ($992 million) on procurement of 21 Mig-29 from Russia, the cost also includes upgrade of 59 Mig-29 fighters that are in service of Indian Air Force (IAF). The country will also spend Rs 10,730 crore ($1.434 billion) on procurement of 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighters from the HAL, which manufactures them under licence from Russia.
How much India will spend on procurement of defence equipment?
India will spend a total Rs 38,900 crores ($5.2 billion) on buying Russian combat jets Sukhoi-30 MKI and Mig-29, long-range cruise missiles, Astra beyond visual range (BVR) missiles, ammunition for Pinaka multiple rocket launcher system, software defined radio (SDR) for Indian Army.
However, the biggest part, Rs 31,130 crores ($4.16 billion) will be spent on indigenous design, development and acquisition from Indian Defence Industry, including the procurement of 12 Su-30 MKIs from HAL.
The indigenous component in this round of defence procurement will be 80% of the total outlay.
What Defence Equipment India will buy?
India will buy 21 Mig-29 fighters from Russia and 12 Su-30 MKI fighter-bomber from the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
India will spend Rs 18,148 crores ($2.426 billion) on buying Russian Combat jets. While Rs 7,418 crore ($992 million) will be spent on procurement of 21 Mig-29 jets from Russia, the cost also includes upgrade of 59 Mig-29 in service of IAF.
The government will also spend Rs 10,730 crore ($1.434 billion) on procurement of 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighters from the HAL, taking the total outlay for combat jet procurement and upgrade to Rs 18,148 crores ($2.46 billion)
The government will spend more than half of this amount of Rs 38,900 crores ($5.2 billion) on the acquisition of long-range cruise missiles and Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missiles for the combat jets operated by Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
Make in India in Defence
“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,” defence ministry said.
These projects include ammunitions for indigenous multiple barrel rocket launcher Pinaka, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF).
The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore ($2.73 billion).
“Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the firepower of three Services,” MoD said in a statement.
MSMEs to benefit from defence procurement
Defence ministry said the execution of indigenous component, which involves projects worth Rs 20,400 crore ($2.73 billion), will benefit Indian defence industry, particularly the MSME sector.
“The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors,” MoD said.
Defence ministry said 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 1,000 kilometres to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force, MoD said.
Induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Navy and Air Force, said the defence ministry.