India to acquire 21 MiG-29s from Russia amid standoff with China at border
India today decided to go for acquisition of various weapon platforms and equipment, including 21 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia, at an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore.
The move came at a time when the country is locked in a military standoff at the border with China.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) at its meeting today "accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved," the defence ministry said in a statement.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the DAC meeting, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
This is in view of "the current situation and the need to strengthen the Armed Forces for the defence of our borders," the ministry also said.
Addressing the long-felt need of the Indian Air Force to increase its fighter squadrons, the DAC approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MiG-29 aircraft from Russia along with upgradation of existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft at an estimated cost of Rs 7,418 crore, according to the statement.
Also, 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be procured from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore, it said.
The weapon systems upgrades include 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.
"Acquisition of new and additional missile systems will add to the fire power of India's three defence services," the statement said.
Focused on indigenous design and development, the approvals of the weapon systems include acquisitions from the Indian defence industry worth Rs 31,130 crore.
"The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors," the statement also said, adding "the indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 percent of the project cost."
The troops of India and China had clashed at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15 which left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China too had suffered casualties in that violent face-off.