Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:In a major decision, the defence ministry today approved capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 15,935 crore which included a purchase of 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns to bolster the strength of the armed forces.
The long-pending proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement.
The approval to the proposals come amid increasing hostilities by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as well as China’s aggressive posturing in several sectors along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border.
“The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, met today and accorded approval to Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Services valued at approximately Rs 15,935 crore,” the ministry said in a statement.
“These included procurement of essential quantity of Light Machine Guns for the three Services through the Fast Track Procedure at an estimated cost of over Rs 1,819 crore. This procurement will meet the operational requirement of the troops deployed on the borders. A concurrent proposal is being processed for the balance quantity to be procured under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categorisation,” it added.
“The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of 7.4 lakh Assault Rifles for the three Services. 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 Rs 12,280 crore.”
In the last one month, the DAC has fast tracked procurement of rifles, carbines and LMGs to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment.
The DAC also approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore, the ministry said.
The sniper rifles will be bought under the ‘Buy Global’ category, the ammunition for these weapons will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India.
The ministry said to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Indian Navy, the DAC also approved the procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems (ATDS) for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 850 crore.
The ‘Mareech’ system has been developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations.
“The ‘Mareech’ systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru at an estimated cost of Rs 850 crore,” the ministry said.
(With inputs from PTI)