Defence acquisition worth around 16,000 cr cleared

New Delhi, Feb 13  The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday approved the purchase of military hardware worth Rs 15,935 crore (almost $2.5 billion). These include procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems (ATDS), light machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles.  "This procurement will meet the operational requirement of the troops deployed on the borders. A concurrent proposal is being processed for the balance quantity to be procured under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' categorisation," the Defence Ministry said in a release.  The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of 7.4 lakh assault rifles for the three services.  These rifles will be made in India under the categorisation of 'Buy and Make', through both Ordnance Factory Board and Private Industry at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore, it said. In the last one month, to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment, the DAC has fast-tracked procurement of the three main personal weapons -- rifles, carbines and light machine guns. The DAC also approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore.  "While these high precision weapons will be bought with 'Buy Global' categorisation, the ammunition for these will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India," the Ministry said. To enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Indian Naval Ships, the DAC accorded approval for the procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems (ATDS) for the Indian Navy.  The 'Mareech' system has been developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations. The Mareech systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru at an estimated cost of Rs 850 crore, it said.