The Ministry of Defence on Thursday approved a proposal to acquire 33 new fighter aircraft from Russia. These include 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with upgradation of 59 existing MiG-29s. The total cost of these projects would be Rs 18,148 crores, the ministry said today.
The ministry cleared the acquisition of 248 Astra Beyond Visual Range air time air missiles for the Indian Air Force and the Navy. Design and development of a new 1,000 kilometre strike range Land Attack Cruise Missile by DRDo has also been cleared.
In the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, proposals worth Rs 38,900 crores were also given nod, of which acquisitions worth Rs 31,130 crores would be from Indian industry. The projects cleared include ammunition for Pinaka rocket launchers, BMP combat vehicle upgrades and software defined radios for Army.
While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1000 Km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force. Similarly induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of Navy and Air Force.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reiterated his nation's commitment to further strengthen the "special and priveleged strategic partnership between the two countries in all spheres."