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India rushes to buy fighters amid border standoff with China

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IAF wants new MiG 29s to be equipped with Astra air to air missileNew Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Amid the tense situation at the border with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday approved a proposal for procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter aircraft, along with upgradation of 59 Mig-29s, and 12 more Su-30 MKI aircraft.

To strengthen the armed forces for defending the borders, the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, chaired by Rajnath Singh, accorded approval for capital acquisitions of various platforms and equipment required by the three services.

“Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

While the MiG-29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKIs will be procured from HAL at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

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Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions, amounting to Rs 31,130 crore, from Indian industry.

These equipment will be manufactured in India by the Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors.

The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost.

A large number of these projects have been made possible due to transfer of technology by the Defence Research & Development Organisation to indigenous industry.

These include Pinaka missiles, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, and long-range land attack Cruise missile systems and Astra missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

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The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

Acquisition of new and additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three services.

While the acquisition of more 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 1,000 km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the navy and the IAF.

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Similarly induction of Astra missiles having beyond visual range (BVR) capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Indian Navy and IAF.

–IANS

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