Centre clears Rs 80,000-crore defence projects; to build six submarines
New Delhi: Defence projects worth a whopping Rs
80,000-crore were today cleared by the government which decided that six
submarines will be made indigenously and over 8,000 Israeli anti-tank guided
missiles and 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft will be purchased.
The decisions were taken following a meeting of the
Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley that
lasted for over two hours with Defence Secretary, the Chiefs of all three
services, DRDO Chief and other senior officials attending it.
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 Anti
Tank 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
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.
Following this, the Ministry will issue Request for
Proposal (RFP) to specific port that will be identified on the basis of the
study which will look into whether they have the capacity and manpower to build
six submarines in the same port only besides other parametres.
The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion
(AIP) capable that will enable them to stay underwater for longer than a
conventional submarine besides having enhanced stealth features. 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. The submarines will have the capacity to
be equipped with land attack cruise missiles.
The DAC also decided to buy 1,761 units of five spoke
7.5 tonne radio containers at the cost of Rs 662-crore besides acquiring 1,768
critical rolling stock - open and closed wagons for transport of military
equipments at a cost of Rs 740-crore.