MoD approves 33 new fighter jets for IAF in deals worth ₹38,900 crore
Wed. continuing tensions on the border with China, The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defense Minister Rajnat Singh, approved deals worth 38,900 kroner on Thursday. This includes ordering 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF), upgrading 59 of them and acquiring 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.
While both deals have been in progress for some time, the approvals come a week later Mr. Singh’s visit to Moscow for the Victory Day parade, where he also held discussions on defense co-operation.
Also Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on winning a nationwide vote on changes to Russia’s constitution. Last week’s referendum allowed Mr Putin to serve as president for two more six-year terms after 2024, until 2036.
Other deals include Pinaka munitions, modernization of BMP armor for armored vehicles and software-defined radio (SDR) for the military, long-range missile systems (LRLAM) with a range of more than 1,000 km and Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air missiles. air for the Navy and Air Force, all of which will be purchased domestically and cost approximately 31,130 kroner.
“While the supply and modernization of the MIG-29 from Russia is estimated at 7,418 kroner, the Su-30 MKI will be purchased by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an approximate price of 10,730 kroner,” the defense ministry said in a statement. This would increase the strength of the IAF Squadron.
The 21 MiG-29s were produced in part by Russia for an unfulfilled order and will now be upgraded and delivered to India. They would add to their three squadrons in operation, which were under construction. The 12 Su-30MKIs are designed to replace the plane that crashed over the years.
India has concluded 272 Su-30s from Russia in various lots, most of which are licensed by HAL.
The IAF currently has 30 combat squadrons against a sanctioned force of 42. It will start adding first batch Rafale multi-purpose jets at the end of this month. Another deal for 83 Mk-1A light fighter jets, expected to cost 38,000 kroner, is expected to be signed over the next two months.
Both leaders discussed Mr Putin’s upcoming trip to India, expected in October, and the strategic partnership, the foreign ministry and the Kremlin said in a statement.
The announcement of a permit for Russian hardware and the conversation between the leaders came amid indications that New Delhi and Moscow are cooperating more closely in strategic ties as a result of tensions with China in the LAC.
According to sources, Russia has “assured” India of all its requirements for defense supplies in the near future.
Sources say Russia has also informed India of its latest round of talks with the United States on nuclear weapons control. Negotiations took place in Vienna last week to negotiate a new treaty that could also place restrictions on China’s arsenal.
In addition to Mr Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Jaishankar held tripartite talks with Russian and Chinese counterparts at Moscow’s request.
With regard to missile systems, the defense ministry said the acquisition of the Pinaka missile systems would allow additional regiments to be built above those already introduced by the army. Adding LRLAMS to the existing arsenal would increase the naval and air force’s ability to attack, she added. Nirbhay, a long-range subsonic cruise missile with a range of more than 1,000 km, has been under development by the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) for some time. LRLACM will be an improved derivative of Nirbhay, defense sources said.
The ministry said non-militant deals involving local industry would be produced in India, with several micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) being prime suppliers for a large number of projects involving technology transfer from DRDO. the statement. .
The IAF has expressed satisfaction with the work of the Astra BVR and is currently deploying the Astra Mk-I to its Sukhoi fleet.
Military Marshal RKS Bhadauria recently said The Hindu that they are looking to place orders for over 200 Astra Mk-1 missiles.