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Modernisation proposals worth Rs 84,328cr get defence ministry nod | India News

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NEW DELHI: The defence ministry on Thursday gave the initial approval to 24 military modernisation proposals worth Rs 84,328 crore, which included major indigenous projects to develop light tanks for the China front as well as futuristic infantry combat vehicles and mounted gun systems for the Army.
The “capital acquisition proposals” granted acceptance of necessity (AoN) by the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh, include 21 indigenous projects worth Rs 82,127 crore.
“This unprecedented initiative of the DAC will not only modernise the armed forces but also provide substantial boost to the domestic defence industry to achieve the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’,” a MoD official said.
Of the 24 projects, there are 10 for the Navy, six each for IAF and Army, and two for Coast Guard. The clear takeaway was the three big projects for the 12-lakh strong Army. TOI was the first to report earlier this month that Project ‘Zorawar’ for 354 light tanks, at a cost of around Rs 17,500 crore, was all set to be cleared by the DAC after the Army-DRDO tussle was resolved in the case.
The Army needs such indigenous tanks, each weighing less than 25 tonnes with a high power-to-weight ratio as well as superior firepower and protection, for high-altitude warfare.
Sources said the AoN was also accorded for 480 futuristic infantry combat vehicles (FICVs), with enhanced lethality, night-fighting and ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities, at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore. “The FICVs will replace some of the old Russian-origin BMP-II vehicles,” an officer said.
Similarly, 300 mounted gun systems will be acquired for around Rs 7,500 crore. Importantly, AoN was also granted for procurement of 80,000 ballistic helmets with enhanced protection levels for frontline soldiers.
The IAF’s projects to “enhance its lethal capabilities” include the acquisition of indigenous new-generation anti-radiation missiles for its frontline Sukhoi-30MKI jets.

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