The Ministry of defence is seriously considering a $2.15 billion proposal to replace it’s ageing 2K12E Kvadrat Surface-to-air missile system (SAM). The missiles will replace the Russian made Kub (Kvadrat) missiles currently operated by the Indian Army.
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In another significant development, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is said to be preparing for the purchase of 14 Dornier turboprop STOL utility aircraft, for transportation purposes. The IAF is likely to issue it’s first approval today.
According to the army officials, the proposal is for the acquisition of a total of 8 regiments of the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAMs), to replace the Kvardrat SAMs. This proposal is also likely to get its preliminary approval from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today. The officials said that they will initiate an international tender, once the proposal is cleared by the DAC. The estimated cost of the deal makes it one of the most expensive deals ever undertaken by the Indian army.
The Indian sources reported that the proposed deal will contain partnership and knowledge transfer clauses, which will make sure than a major part of the equipment is manufactured in India itself. The Government owned defence manufacturer, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is likely to be involved in the deal, as the Indian partner for the production of the missiles.
The IAF meanwhile, plans to increase its Dornier fleet from a total of 41 units currently, to 55 units. The aircraft is mostly used by the army, to transfer its troops and personnel carriers. The fully government owned public sector undertaking, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is likely to win the bid for providing the IAF with new aircrafts. HAL is currently involved in collaboration with the German aerospace manufacturer Dornier Flugzeugwerke, which manufactures the Dornier aircrafts.
The acquirement of the QRSAMs is much awaited by the army officials, who claims that the current SAM systems of the army are severely underequipped. India has developed its own SAM, known as the Akash missile. However, a series of launch failures and lack of advanced interception technology meant that the Indian air defence system is lagging behind that if their counterparts.
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