NATIONAL

Govt. clears Naval P-8Is and air defence guns for Army

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday cleared deals worth about Rs. 30,000 crore for new platforms and several upgrades mostly for the Army and the Navy. Additional P-8I maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft for the Navy and new air defence guns for the army were the major deals cleared.

The Navy earlier contracted eight aircraft from Boeing to keep track of the vast coastline. It is now exercising the optional clause for four P-8Is worth Rs. 4,380 crore. Weapon and sensor upgrades for six ships of Delhi and Talwar class worth Rs. 2,900 crore were cleared to be implemented as and when the ships go for midlife upgrades.

DAC also extended Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for four large survey ships worth Rs. 2,324 crore in place of the old one which lapsed. Other deals for Navy include replacement of radars on Kora class ships, Gigabit Ethernet Ships Data Network (GbeSDN) on Delhi class ships for high speed data connectivity, 23 Combat Management Systems, BrahMos training facility at INS Valsura in Gujarat and Air Combat Menuvouring systems for Mig-29 fighters and Advanced Jet Trainers.

The Army will now issue tenders for the long pending replacement of the vintage L-70 and ZU-23mm air defence guns.

This will be under Buy & Make category for 428 systems wroth about Rs. 16,900 crore. Other deals include 3.5 lakh bi-modular charges for 155mm artillery guns which is a follow on order for Rs. 580 crore and multi-spectrum camouflage nets.

The National Cadet Corps will get 110 new micro-light aircraft to be procured from Spain.

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