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Indian gov’t buys $1.7 billion worth of military weapons systems

Dhruv helicopter of the Indian Navy (Manan Singh Mahadev/Wikimedia Commons)
October 01, 2021

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh Defense Acquisition Council sent a series of approvals for various range of weaponry platforms, including 25 Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mark III aircraft from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), a press release from the Ministry of Defence stated.

The twin-engine, multi-role transport helicopters will be worth nearly a half-billion dollars and will help the Army strengthen its tactical and operational deployment in remote areas, such as Kashmir and North East. The Defence Acquisition Council further approved the procurement of surface-to-air missiles and artillery ammunition, bringing the total evaluation of the deals to $1.7 billion dollars.

These 25 ALH Mk-III will be manufactured indigenously, a spin-off from HAL Dhruv’s base design, and are improved and advanced variants with a higher rate of survivability and endurance.

“Giving a boost to Indigenous Design and Development of ammunitions, DAC accorded approval for procurement of Terminally Guided Munition and rocket ammunition for an approximate cost of Rs 4,962 crore from domestic sources and other proposals worth Rs 4,353 crore were also accorded AoN by the DAC,” the statement said.

DAC gave the green light to purchase medium-range surface-to-air missiles, as well as an air defense system valued at Rs 1700 crore. It also cleared the purchase of 155 mm artillery ammunition for Rs 1,300 crore for India’s artillery forces.

Before heading the DAC meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed a brief conference of defense OEMs on Tuesday, urging them to boost domestic production and participate in the modernization of the Indian Armed Forces.