Defence Ministry approves proposal to acquire 33 new fighter aircraft from Russia

The Ministry of Defence on Thursday approved the proposal to acquire 33 new fighter aircraft from Russia. The new aircraft includes 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with upgradation of 59 existing MiG-29s.

The total cost of these projects would amount to Rs 18,148 crores, said Defence Ministry.

Defence Ministry has also cleared the acquisition of 248 Astra Beyond Visual Visual Range air to air missiles for the Indian Air Force and the Navy. The Ministry also cleared design and development of a new 1,000 kilometre strike range Land Attack Cruise Missile by DRDO.

Defence Acquisition Council also cleared proposals worth Rs 38,900 crore of which acquisitions worth Rs 31,130 crore would be from Indian industry. The projects cleared include ammunition for Pinaka rocket launchers, BMP combat vehicle upgrades & software defined radios for Army, informed Defence officials.

The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving 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 (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry. These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF). The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services. 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 1,000 kilometres 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 the Navy and Air Force.

This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.