- The defence ministry Rajnath Singh on Tuesday approved military procurement worth Rs 8,722 crore including 106 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force, officials said. They said the basic trainer aircraft named HTT-40 will be procured from state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The procurement proposals were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement. The meeting was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. In a statement, the ministry said the DAC also accorded approvals that are likely to speed up the procurement of AK-203 rifles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) “upgrades”. Under the UAV upgrade project, the government is likely to arm some of them with laser-guided bombs and precision-guided munitions.
- On the procurement of basic trainer jets, it said the certification process for the HTT-40 aircraft of the HAL is underway.
- “Post-certification 70 basic trainer aircraft will be initially procured from HAL and balance 36 after operationalisation of HTT-40 fleet in IAF,” it said in a statement.
- It said the DAC also approved the procurement of an upgraded version of Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) which is fitted as the main gun on board the warships of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
- “The upgraded version of SRGM has enhanced capability to perform against fast maneuvering targets like missiles and fast attack crafts and increase the maximum engagement range,” the ministry said. It said the DAC also approved procurement of 125 mm APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammunition for the Indian Army as a ‘design and development case’.
- “The ammunition being procured will have a 70 percent indigenous content,” it said.