Indian Defense Ministry approves purchase of 100 ASTRA BVRAAM and upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft

The Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum-A was manufactured in 1989s and stored in an open space. These MiG-29s will be regenerated and given a new life before transferring the fighters to Indian Air Force. Source Russian Air Force.

In the midst of India’s tense border standoff with China, the Defence Ministry today approved procurement of 21 secondhand MiG-29 and 12 Su-30 fighter jets, a number of missile systems and other military hardware at a cost of Rs 38,900 crore to bolster the combat capability of the armed forces, officials said.

A separate proposal to upgrade existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft has also been approved.

The ministry has also approved procurement of 248 ASTRA beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems. The missile is designed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft and has all weather day and night capability, the officials said.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the Defence Ministry on procurement.

The Defence Acquisition Council also approved acquisition of Pinaka missile systems as well as procurement of long range land attack missile systems having a firing range of over 1,000 km.

In a press release, the ministry referred to the “current situation and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of our borders” while talking about the decisions of the Defence Acquisition Council.

The procurement of 21 MiG-29 and upgrade of the existing fleet of MiG-29 is estimated to cost the government Rs 7,418 crore while purchase of 12 new Su-30 MKI from HAL will be made at a cost of Rs 10,730 crore, the officials said.

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In the statement, the ministry said capital procurement worth around Rs 38,900 crore was approved by the DAC.

It said the cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

“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 KM to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force,” the ministry said.

“Similarly induction of Astra Missiles having beyond visual range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force,” it said.

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