Defence Ministry Approves Purchase of 33 Fighter Jets from Russia
In lieu of the rising border tensions with China , the Indian Ministry of Defence has given its nod for immediate purchase of 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets. Besides the fighter jets, upgradation of existing 59 MiG-29 has also been approved by the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the morning of July the second, 2020.
Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved by the DAC. The ministry says that approval for capital acquisition for various platforms and equipment was done with an aim to strengthen the armed forces in the current situation. During his visit to Moscow on June 24, Rajnath Singh discussed the acquisition of fighter jets and other upgrades with his Russian counterpart.
The ministry’s statement as well added that in order to address the long felt need of the Indian Air Force to increase its fighter squadrons, the DAC also approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MIG-29 along with upgradation of existing 59 Mig-29 aircraft and procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft. “The MiG 29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7418 Cr, the Su-30 MKI will be procured from HAL at an estimated cost of Rs 10730 Cr", statement noted.
Besides fighter jets, the ministry has also approved ammunition Pinaka missile systems, BMP armament upgrades and Software Defined Radars for the Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force. All these acquisitions as regarded by defence policy analysts were approved on a preparational basis to tackle any “war “ like crisis in and around Galwan valley in Leh, Ladakh , considering the threat of territorial infringement from the Chinese side at any point in time . Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the decision as a strategic and a turning point in bolstering the Indo-Russian defence cooperation and capabilities.
The Chinese military has activated all its bases in Tibet closer to the Line of Actual Control. In response, Indian Air Force, too, has enhanced its combat air patrol by flying Su-30 fighter jets close to the border. As Corps Commanders of both sides hold discussions on a timely basis to defuse the tension between the two forces, the process of disengagement has been very gradual and is not in adherence to the terms and conditions discussed . Negotiations on the diplomatic level as well did not hold effective in addressing the border tensions between India and China , leading to a great fiasco on 15 June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face at the Galwan Valley.
Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services of the Indian army . While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, 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 Navy and the Air Force. Similarly, induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of Navy and IAF. The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore
Reported By: Arjun Raj. S