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Defence Ministry approves proposal to acquire 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia

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New Delhi, July 02: The Ministry of Defence on Thursday approved a proposal to procure 21 MiG-29 fighter jets besides 12 Sukhoi MK1 from Russia - a key development that comes in the middle of a almost two-month long military standoff with China. The total cost of these projects would be Rs 18,148 crores, the ministry said.

Defence Ministry approves proposal to acquire 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia

The Defence Ministry's Defence Acquisition Council also gave its nod for the upgradation of existing 59 MiG-29 aircrafts, a statement from the ministry said.

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The ministry cleared the acquisition of 248 Astra Beyond Visual Range air time air missiles for the Indian Air Force and the Navy. Design and development of a new 1,000 kilometre strike range Land Attack Cruise Missile by DRDo has also been cleared.

In the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, proposals worth Rs 38,900 crores were also given nod, of which acquisitions worth Rs 31,130 crores would be from Indian industry. The projects cleared include ammunition for Pinaka rocket launchers, BMP combat vehicle upgrades and software defined radios for Army.

''The proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38900 Cr were approved. With a focus on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions from Indian Industry of Rs 31130 Cr. All equipment are to be manufactured in India involving the Defence Industry with the participation of several MSMEs as prime-tier vendors. The Indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80% of the project cost. A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology by DRDO to the Indigenous Industry. These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and Software Defined Radios for the Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force. The cost of these Design and Development proposals is in the range of Rs 20400 cr." the DAC said in a release.

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 Air Force.

Further, addressing 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 nod for the two came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian president Vladmir Putin on Thursday. Putin reiterated his commitment to "further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in all spheres," an Indian foreign ministry statement said.

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