The MoD today gave it’s approval to three key proposals from the IAF and the Indian Navy to buy 14 new Dornier reconnaissance planes, 116 battleship guns and for a nationwide command and control communication network. The total value of the deal to buy these equipments is nearly $1.9 billion.
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The IAF proposes to buy the Dorniers to boost it’s existing troop carrying fleet from 41 to 55. The Dorniers will be purchased from Bangalore-based defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The order is worth $200 million.
The communication network for the IAF which is called the Air Force Net (AFNET), had been launched as a pilot project by the IAF in September 2010. The pilot project is turning out to be a success & the DAC gave it’s approval to expand the network into a nationwide system. The project will cost $1.4 billion.
The third procurement that was approved at the meeting was for the Indian Navy. The Navy will procure new 30mm guns for it’s warships. The 116 guns will be $300 million & will have advance electro-optic fire control systems. The first lot of these guns are to be directly imported and the rest manufactured in India under a technology transfer contract.
This will help increase the capabilities of the defence PSUs & enable indigenous manufacturing of military systems.
Nomination of defence PSUs for defence systems manufacturing will be discouraged, thereby encouraging greater competition among both the public and private sector defence companies. Nomination of defence PSUs will be done only in rarest of rare cases, when the military equipment is operationally very important and the local capacities will not meet the time and quality parameters for procurement.
The other proposal discussed was for buying eight regiments of the badly needed Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAMs). These missiles can engage targets at 15-km range at a minimum altitude of 6,000 metres in under six seconds. The plan is to replace the Russian Kvadrat system. This deal is worth $2.4 billion.
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