The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), defence ministry’s top acquisition body, on Thursday cleared purchase of an estimated Rs 40,000-crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, and also gave a go-ahead to other projects worth over Rs 25,000 crore.
The move comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia later this month.
The council, which met under the chairmanship of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, decided to buy five units of S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems that are capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and also drones within a range of up to 400 km.
According a defence ministry official, the purchase will give a major boost to the national air defence capacity. India will be the second buyer of the missile system after China if the deal goes through.
The S-400 Triumf is also capable of taking out ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets. Considered to be the most modern air defence system in the Russian arsenal, the new S-400 has a 2.5 times faster firing rate as compared to its predecessor S-300. The deal on its purchase is likely to see a forward movement during Modi’s Russia visit.
The council also gave the “acceptance of necessity” to army’s proposal for the purchase of six regiments of the Pinaka rocket system under the ‘Make in India’ category for Rs 14,600 crore. Each regiment of the Pinaka comes with 18 launchers and every launcher has the capability of firing 12 rockets at the same time.
The DAC approved the Army’s demand for 571 light bullet-proof vehicles to be used in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations was also cleared at a cost of Rs 310 crore.
The DAC also gave the go-ahead for the purchase of 120 trawls to be used on Russia-origin T-72 and T-90 tanks under “Buy Global” category for Rs 450 crore.
On the digitisation front, the council cleared the digitisation of 24 Pechora Air Defence system for Rs 1,200 crore.
A Rs 425-crore electronic warfare system for the Indian Army to be deployed in the mountain region was also cleared.