New Delhi, Oct 25: The government on Saturday cleared defence projects worth a whopping Rs 80,000 crore and also decided that six submarines will also be made indigenously, said an agency report.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who chaired the defence acquisition council (DAC) meeting that lasted for over two hours with defence secretary, the chiefs of all three services, DRDO chief and other senior officials.
The meeting also decided to purchase over 8,000 Israeli antitank guided missiles and 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft, the report said, adding that the bulk of the decisions went in favour of the Navy that was in dire need of up-gradation and capability enhancement.
The big ticket step was the decision to build six submarines in India at a cost of about Rs 50,000 crore rather than source it from outside.
The other major decision was to purchase 8,356 antitank guided missile of Israel worth Rs 3,200 crore rather than the US’ Javelin missile for the Indian Army. The Army will also purchase 321 launchers for the missile.
Another 12 Dornier surveillance aircraft with enhanced sensors will also be bought from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd at a cost of Rs 1,850 crore.
The DAC also decided to buy 362 infantry fighting vehicle from the ordinance factory board, Medak in West Bengal for Rs 662 crore.
Giving details of the decision to make the six submarines in the country, official sources said a committee will now be formed by the defence ministry which will study both public and private shipyards over the next 6-8 weeks.
It may be noted that the Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030. The previous UPA government had gone in for six Scorpene submarines and the first is likely to be delivered only in 2016.
The decision to manufacture the submarines in India is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ pitch.
(With Agency Inputs)