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DAC okays purchase of Russian air defence missile systems

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia, Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council on Thursday cleared the purchase of an estimated Rs 40,000-crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, besides giving go-ahead to other projects worth over Rs 25,000 crore.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, has decided to buy 5 units of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems that are capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones within a range of up to 400 km. The S400 Triumf is also capable of taking out ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets.

Defence Ministry sources said the step has been taken to enhance the national air defence capacity. “The price discovery will happen hereafter,” a source said when asked how much would the system cost. Industry estimates have suggested that the missile system will cost Rs 40,000 crore. India will be the second buyer of the missile system after China if the deal goes through.

It is expected that the deal would be a government-to-government one and could see a forward movement during Modi’s visit to Russia next week.

Compared with its predecessor, the S-300, the new S-400 has a 2.5 times faster firing rate. This is the most modern, air defence system in the Russian arsenal.

The DAC 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.
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