According to a report by The Times of India (TOI), India is set to approve three major indigenous projects that have a combined value of about Rs 1.4 trillion. These projects include building an additional aircraft carrier, 97 more Tejas fighters, and 156 Prachand light combat helicopters.
At a meeting set for the end of the month on November 30, the Defence Acquisitions Council, directed by Rajnath Singh, is anticipated to begin the “acceptance of necessity (AoN)”—the first step in the purchase process. The procurement process will move forward with tender and commercial negotiations after the AoNs, and the three deals will ultimately be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Security for final approval.
Among these projects is the 97 Tejas Mark-1A fighter, whose price tag is over Rs 55,000 crore. These fighters will be added to the 83 aircraft that Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has previously ordered. In order to fill the existing gap in fighter squadrons, the Indian Air Force needs these additions.
After receiving a “repeat order” from INS Vikrant (IAC-1), the second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2) is anticipated to be constructed at the Cochin Shipyard for about Rs 40,000 crore. It will take eight to ten years to build IAC-2, which has a tonnage of 44,000 tons. India now has intentions to acquire Rafale-Marine fighter planes to supplement the MiG-29K aircraft it already uses to meet its carrier-based aircraft needs.
At an estimated cost of Rs 45,000 crore, the 156 Prachand helicopters would be utilized for offensive operations in high-altitude regions including as eastern Ladakh and Siachen Glacier. Armed with a number of weapons, these helicopters will add to the current fleet that was brought in under a previous contract.
Budgetary restrictions forced the use of the smaller electric-propelled IAC-2, but China is still developing and operating two aircraft carriers. On the other hand, the US has 11 nuclear-powered carriers that can individually accommodate a sizable number of fighters and planes. For this reason, these defense initiatives are essential to improving India’s readiness.
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