By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Tuesday approved the procurement of arms and military equipment worth Rs 7,965 crore, including 12 light utility helicopters from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), according to an official statement.

The procurement proposals were approved at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the ministry’s highest decision-making body on the matter. All of these proposals are under ‘Make in India’ with a focus on design, development and manufacturing in India.

“As a further impetus to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), a global procurement case of naval guns has been foreclosed with these guns’ quantity added to the upgraded super rapid gun mount (SRGM) being manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL),” it noted.

Besides clearing the proposal to buy 12 helicopters, the DAC approved the procurement of Lynx U2 naval gunfire control system from Bharat Electronics Limited, the ministry’s statement said.

The DAC also approved “mid-life upgradation of Dornier aircraft” by HAL to increase the naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance, it mentioned.

Lynx U2 Fire Control System will enhance the detection, tracking and engagement capabilities of Naval warships and upgraded Dornier Aircraft will add to the Naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance.

These SRGMs provide niche capabilities of engaging fast manoeuvring targets using guided munitions and range extensions, and are to be fitted on the warships of the Indian Navy, the statement said.

“The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in its meeting of November 2, 2021, held under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh, accorded Acceptance of Necessity for capital acquisition proposals for modernisation and operational needs of the armed forces amounting to Rs 7,965 crore,” it noted.

All these proposals are under ‘Make in India’ with a focus on design, development and manufacturing in the country, according to the statement.

The military equipment are being procured at a time the Indian armed forces are locked in a bitter border row with China in eastern Ladakh.