Defence Min approves procurement of 21 Mig-29 and 12 Sukhoi fighter jets

Sukhoi-30 MKI (File)

New Delhi (NVI): In a big boost to the country’s defence capability amid the India-China face-off, the Defence Ministry today approved a proposal to procure 21 MiG-29 fighters from Russia and upgrade 59 existing MiG-29 jets. The Government has also approved the procurement of 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).

The major approval also comes amid a long-felt need of the Indian Air Force to increase its fighter squadrons. While the MIG 29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKI will be procured from HAL at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

The major procurement-related decisions were taken in the Defence Acquisition Council meeting held today, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh where he accorded approval for Capital acquisitions of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces in the current situation.

During the meeting, proposals worth Rs 38,900 crore were approved by DAC. Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions from Indian Industry of Rs 31,130 Cr, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The equipment will be manufactured in India involving Indian Defence Industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime-tier vendors, it said.

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 DRDO to the Indigenous Industry. These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and Software Defined Radios for the Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force. The cost of these Design and Development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

The Defence Ministry said that the acquisition of new or additional missile systems will add to the firepower of three services, especially amid a bitter standoff on the Indo-China border in the Ladakh region.

While the 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 Km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force, the Ministry said.

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.