In a major boost for the naval forces, the Defence Ministry on Thursday cleared the acquisition of two BrahMos supersonic cruise missile coastal batteries for the Indian Navy. The Defence Minister also cleared the acquisition of 'Made in India' software-defined radios for the armed forces.
The decision to this effect was taken during the meeting of Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which was Rajnath Singh's first meeting ever since he took over as the Defence Minister.
The highly placed government sources had said on Wednesday that during the DAC meeting, the Defence Minister is expected to decide on acquisition of weapon systems worth around Rs 12,000 crore including the procurement of two BrahMos supersonic cruise missile batteries for the Navy.
"The two mobile missile coastal batteries have to be acquired for the Navy. The Navy would deploy the Rs 1400 crore BrahMos supersonic cruise missile batteries deployed on the Tatra trucks close to major cities from where it can destroy any incoming enemy warship in case it is posing any threat," government sources said.
The Navy wants to use the two BrahMos missile batteries to replace its existing systems which have become old and need replacement, they said.
In the DAC meeting, Singh is also expected to take a call on the acquisition of 14 medium-lift choppers for the Indian Coast Guard which are likely to cost more than Rs 7,000 crore.
During the meeting, Singh will also take a call on the deviations in the proposal for acquisition and manufacturing of AK-203 assault rifles between India and Russia, the sources said.
The Defence Minister will also decide on the proposed procurement of two electronic warfare systems for deployment along the Pakistan and China borders.
Though the DAC is meeting for the first time since the new government was formed, the Narendra Modi administration has already spent around Rs 8500 crore for meeting the emergency requirement of the forces in its first 50 days.
Weapon systems such as the Spice 2000 stand off bombs and Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel, Strum Ataka air-launched ATGM and several other spare parts from Russia have been acquired under these powers by the Indian Air Force.