Defence ministry okays purchase worth Rs 2,419 cr for army, navy

US training solution for navy, e-warfare suite by BEL for army

Defence ministry okays purchase worth Rs 2,419 cr for army, navy

The defence ministry approved purchase of a surveillance training solution for the navy from the USA, besides sanctioning procurement of an e-warfare suite for the army from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bengaluru.

The training solution for navy's P-8I aircraft will be bought from US defence major Boeing at a cost of Rs 1,949.32 crore. The deal also entails a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service for the module, the defence ministry said in a statement.

By accurately simulating the P-8I mission systems, the training solution would help naval personnel train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of practising in a live aircraft.

The Indian Navy currently operates eight P-8I aircraft as its principal reconnaissance aircraft. In 2016, the defence ministry placed a follow-on order for four more P-8I, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.

The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.

Communications systems

The second proposal approved by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to buy the Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System for the army at a cost of Rs 470 crore from the BEL. It will equip the Indian Army with upgraded communications infrastructure to effectively deal with the advanced ones being used by terrorist groups.

A day before, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre informed Parliament that India inked 187 contracts worth Rs 2.4 lakh crore with foreign and domestics firms for procurement of various military platforms and equipment in the last four years. While 119 contracts worth Rs 1.62 lakh crore were signed with Indian vendors, the defence ministry inked 68 procurement deals worth Rs 1.24 crore with foreign players.

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