The Defence Ministry on Thursday approved a proposal to procure 21 MiG-29 fighter jets and 12 Sukhoi MK1 from Russia.

The development comes amidst the border tension between India and China.

The Defence Ministry said “addressing the long felt need of the IAF to increase its fighter squadrons”, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has 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.

“While the MIG 29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had a meeting on Thursday under the chairmanship of defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

During its meeting, the DAC accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces.

“Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved,” the ministry said.

With a focus on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions from Indian Industry of Rs 31,130 crore, it said.

“The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost,” the ministry said.

A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry.

These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF).

“The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore,” it added.

Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will “add to the fire power of three Services, the ministry said.

“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 1,000 kilometres to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force,” it said.

The ministry said induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Navy and Air Force.

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