Ladakh standoff: India set to procure fighter jets, missiles and military hardware at a whopping cost of Rs 38,900
On Thursday, in a serious intent to Beijing, the Defence Ministry of India permitted the purchase of around 33 fighter jets, missile systems along with various military weapons worth Rs 38,900 crore.
The list prepared for the procurement of military equipment comprises some spectacular hardware items like the 21 MiG-29 fighter jets which are to be purchased from Russia, 12-Su-30 MKi aircraft to be purchased from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The previous version of the 59 MiG-29 aircraft 248 ASTRA BVR (beyond visual range) air-air missile systems will also be upgraded to the latest version. The considerable number of long-range cruise missile systems for land-attack with a scale of 1,000 km Pinaka-missile systems along with ammunition software-specified radios for the BMP weaponry upgrades.
The decision of purchasing this weaponry came when the advance delivery date of Rafale fighter jets from France came near.
The Defence Ministry came up with a press release to announce its decision and there was no attempt to secrete the present relationship between India and China. It described the "current situation and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of our borders." For the last seven weeks, the Chinese and Indian troops are caught in a resentful deadlock at several areas in eastern Ladakh. The tension between the two countries increased rapidly as 20 soldiers lost their lives in a violent skirmish in Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese army also suffered few fatalities but no details regarding that have been provided by them yet.
The government is expected to spend around Rs 7,418 crore for the purchase of 21 MiG-29s along with the upgrade of the existing MiG-29s. They have to incur a cost of Rs 10,370 crore for procuring 12 latest Su-30 MKI from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), according to the officials.
The Ministry stated, "Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions from Indian industry worth Rs 31,130 crore. The pieces of equipment are to be manufactured in India involving the Indian defence industry with the participation of several MSMEs as prime-tier vendors."
Some of these projects consist of aboriginal content which is 80% of the original cost of the project. "A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to the indigenous industry," the ministry added.
Around Rs 20,400 crore will be spent on the design and development of these projects, it said.
"While the acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, the addition of long-range land-attack missile systems having a firing range of 1000 km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force," the ministry assured.
On the other hand, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's scheduled visit to Ladakh on Friday has been postponed and a senior official informed that it 'has been rescheduled.' After the clash with China, Singh was expected to visit the forward areas, arrange meetings and interact with local Army commanders in Leh, Ladakh and assess the state of military preparation given the current situation of the standoff.