Centre approves proposals for procurement of defence equipment worth Rs 4,276 crore

A soldier stands guard outside India's Defence Ministry building in New Delhi, India, February 28, 2019. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: The defence ministry on Tuesday approved three procurement proposals, including that of Helina anti-tank guided missiles, at a total cost of Rs 4,276 crore to bolster the combat capabilities of the armed forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

The procurement proposals were cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The DAC, which is the defence ministry's highest decision-making body on the acquisition, also gave a go-ahead for the procurement of a batch of VSHORAD missiles to boost the air defence system along the LAC.

While two procurement proposals were for the Army, the third one was for the Indian Navy.

The defence ministry said the DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for three capital acquisition proposals, amounting to Rs 4,276 crore.

"The DAC accorded AoN for procurement of Helina anti-tank guided missiles, launchers and associated support equipment which will be integrated to the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)," it said.

This missile is an essential part of the weaponisation of ALH for countering enemy threats.

"Its induction will strengthen the offensive capability of the Indian Army," the ministry said in a statement.

It said the DAC also accorded AoN for procurement of the VSHORAD missile system under design and development by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).

"In view of the recent developments along the Northern borders there is a need to focus on effective Air Defence (AD) weapon systems which are man-portable and can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain and maritime domain," it said.

The ministry said procurement of VSHORAD, as a robust and quickly deployable system, will strengthen the air defence capabilities.

"Further, the DAC granted approval for procurement of Brahmos Launcher and Fire Control System (FCS) for the Shivalik class of ships and next generation missile vessels (NGMVs) for the Indian Navy," it said.

"With their induction, these ships would have enhanced capability of carrying out maritime strike operations, interdicting and destroying enemy's warships and merchant vessels," the ministry added.

India has been bolstering its overall combat capabilities along the LAC in view of the eastern Ladakh border standoff.

Last month, the defence ministry approved the procurement of a number of military platforms and weapons including light tanks, anti-ship missiles and long-range guided bombs at a cost of Rs 84,328 crore.

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