In a major decision, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minster Nirmala Sitaraman ,Saturday approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the navy at a cost of over Rs 21,000 crore.
The DAC also approved the procurement of 24 anti-submarine capable multi-role helicopters.
These are an integral part of warships and aircraft carriers. “The availability of MRH with the Navy would plug the existing capability gap,” said a statement issued by the defence ministry.
This is the first project under the MoD’s Strategic Partnership (SP) model that aims at indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner in collaboration with a foreign manufacturer. The model looks at promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment.
The navy is currently faced with a depleting fleet of these two kinds of helicopters. It had issued Requests for Information for the two in August 2017.
Meanwhile, the DAC also approved a few other proposals, amounting to Rs 24,879.16 crore. This includes the procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems at a cost of Rs 3,364.78 crore. These guns have been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and will be manufactured by production agencies, as nominated by DRDO. The defence ministry says these guns are likely to be the mainstay of the artillery.
(Featured image: Oneindia Hindi)