NEW DELHI: The defence ministry on Thursday accorded initial approvals to military acquisition plans worth Rs 28,000 crore, including the major indigenous project to develop six airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to boost surveillance capabilities along the China and Pakistan borders.
The Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisitions Council also gave the “acceptance of necessity (AoN)” for 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels (around Rs 9,000 crore), 38 extended 400-km range Brah-Mos supersonic cruise missiles (Rs 1,800 crore) and shipborne unmanned aerial systems for the Navy as well as around 40 new modular bridges for the Army.
“Majority of the AoNs were in the ‘Buy Indian-IDDM (indigenously designed, developed and manufactured)’ category. Six of the seven proposals, that is Rs 27,000 crore out of Rs 28,000 crore, will be sourced from Indian industry to give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives,” said an official.
The clear takeaway was the Rs 10,990 crore DRDO project to build the six AWACS or AEW&C (airborne earlywarning and control) aircraft, which act as powerful “eyes in the sky” to look deep into enemy territory. India is behind Pakistan, leave alone China, in this critical arena.
The project envisages mounting indigenous 360-degree coverage AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars on six A-320 aircraft, which will be acquired from the existing Air India fleet, as was earlier reported by TOI.
Courtesy – TimesOfIndia