Govt approves Rs16,000 crore arms purchase plan
New Delhi: The defence ministry on Tuesday said it has approved the purchase of defence equipment worth Rs15,935 crore for the army, navy and air force.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared purchases of advanced torpedo decoy systems (ATDS), light machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles, including from the private sector.
The ATDS system to enhance anti-submarine warfare was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and has completed trials. It will be produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru, at an estimated cost of Rs850 crore, the defence ministry said in a press release. Light machine guns will be purchased for all three services under a fast-track procedure at an estimated cost of over Rs1,819 crore to “meet the operational requirement of the troops deployed on the borders”.
The DAC also gave its approval to the procurement of 740,000 assault rifles.
“These rifles will be ‘Made in India’ under the categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, through both Ordnance Factory Board and private industry at an estimated cost of Rs12,280 crore,” it added.
The DAC also approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force for an estimated Rs982 crore.
“While these high-precision weapons will be bought with ‘Buy Global’ categorisation, the ammunition for these will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India,” it added.
Sitharaman on Monday said Pakistan would “pay for this misadventure” after a deadly attack by militants on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least six Indian soldiers.
“In the last one month, to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment, the DAC has fast tracked procurement of the three main personal weapons, i.e., rifles, carbines and light machine guns,” the press release added.