Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the Defence Minister mid the tension on the border with China, the approved deals worth ₹38,900 crore. The approvals come after the Defence Minister’s visit to Moscow for the Victory Day Parade.
- It includes procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF), upgrade of 59 MiG-29s and acquisition of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft. HAL will build the 12 Su-30 MKI aircrafts to replace those crashed over the years. India has in different batches contracted 272 Su-30 from Russia, majority of which have been license manufactured by HAL.
- It includes Pinaka ammunition, armoured vehicle BMP armament upgrades and software defined radio for the Army. Pinaka is an indigenously developed, all weather, indirect fire, free flight artillery rocket system.
- It includes Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems of over 1,000 km range and Astra Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles for the Navy and the Airforce. Beyond visual range missiles have the capacity to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft during night or day.
- Deals other than for fighters would be made in India involving several indigenous MSME as prime tier vendors, with transfer of technology by DRDO.
- Despite India diversifying the sources from where it buys its military hardware in recent decades, an estimated 60% of its arsenal contains Russian origin systems making New Delhi depend on Moscow for critical spares and upgrades. India has become the world’s biggest arms importer as it modernises its military.
- India is also seeking a quick delivery of the five squadrons of the S-400 Triumf air defence systems. New Delhi, on its part, signed a $5.4-billion agreement in 2018 with Moscow for the delivery starting from the middle of 2021.