Centre clears Rs 3000 crore to buy supersonic missiles, battle tanks
The Defence Acquisition Council on Saturday approved military procurement worth Rs 3,000 crore, including Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles for Navy’s two stealth frigates and armoured recovery vehicles for the Army’s Arjun main battle tanks, a senior official said.
India is procuring two stealth frigates at a cost of $1 billion and both the ships will be equipped with indigenously developed BrahMos missiles.
The DAC also approved the procurement of Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) for the Indian Army’s main battle tank, Arjun. The ARVs are designed and developed by the DRDO and would be manufactured by defence public sector undertaking BEML, the official said.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is the ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.
Recently, India and Russia inked a $500 million contract to build two stealth frigates in Goa. Th ships are expected to be delivered by 2027.
Russia’s state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and India’s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) signed the contract in New Delhi to build the Grigorovich-class ‘Project 1135.6’ frigates with technology transfer from Russia, which is India’s top arms supplier.
“The indigenously designed Brahmos missile is a tested and proven supersonic cruise missile and will form the primary weapon on-board these ships,” said an official.
The frigate deal comes close on the heels of a Rs 39,000-crore deal with Russia for the supply of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems to India. The deal was signed despite appeals from the US that the air defence systems are a “focus area” of secondary sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which is aimed at punishing Russia for annexing Crimea and interfering in the 2016 US elections.
The agreement was inked during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s one-day visit to India early in October.
“Our relations go beyond military hardware and military exchanges. We paid attention to humanitarian response mechanisms,” Putin had said, while addressing a press conference.
Both the S-400 and the frigate deal are likely to be affected by the US sanctions legislation if India is unable to secure a waiver.