Defence acquisition worth Rs 20,000 crore cleared

The defence ministry on Friday cleared several acquisition projects of the armed forces worth over Rs 20,000 crore including regiments of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles [QRSAMs] for the Army.

At a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council [DAC], IAF's proposals worth over Rs 8500 crore for procuring 14 Dornier aircraft and setting up a communication network were also cleared, sources said here.

They said that after the success of the pilot project of the Air Force Network [AFNET], it will be implemented as a nation-wide network at the cost of Rs 7000 crore.

Proposals of the Navy and the Coast Guard to procure 30 mm guns for their warships were also approved in the meeting presided by Defence Minister A K Antony, they said.  The DAC approved procurement of regiments QRSAMs for the Army Air Defence, of which three will be inducted during the ongoing 12th Defence Plan.

Approval for these missiles comes against the backdrop of former Army Chief General V K Singh's letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he had highlighted that 97 per cent of the equipment with the AAD was obsolete.

The Army will now issue a global tender for the new missiles which will replace the Russian-origin Kvadrat missiles.
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