HomeAatmanirbhar Bharatdefence deals: Drones, Missiles, Radars, Fighter jets: Indian armed forces to get...

defence deals: Drones, Missiles, Radars, Fighter jets: Indian armed forces to get nearly 1 lakh crore infusion for game-changer tech

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In the past week, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved several major defence deals, collectively worth over Rs 92,000 crore, to bolster the combat capabilities of the armed forces. These investments are part of India’s broader strategy to enhance its defence capabilities and promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The recent approvals build upon India’s existing defence infrastructure and partnerships, particularly in the realm of missile technology.

IAF’s Sukhoi fighter jet upgrades

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), supported by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has secured approval from the defence ministry for a major upgrade of the Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet. This Rs 60,000 crore project aims to bolster the aircraft’s capabilities through the integration of new radars, mission control systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and weapon systems.

This project reflects India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence manufacturing, as indigenous systems will replace several Russian-origin components. Key upgrades include the installation of a new indigenous radar system, enhancing target detection and engagement capabilities. Additionally, the aircraft will be equipped with a new electronic warfare system to counter incoming threats and disrupt enemy communication.

Killer Drones and Supersonic Missiles

One of the most significant contracts approved is for the acquisition of over 220 extended-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. These missiles, with a strike range of 450 km, will be deployed on frontline warships of the Indian Navy. This deal, valued at approximately Rs 19,500 crore, marks the largest-ever contract for the BrahMos missiles.According to top government sources, the contract between BrahMos Aerospace and the ministry of defence is expected to be signed in the first week of March. “The BrahMos is the main weapon for anti-ship and attack operations for the Indian navy warships which have been regularly firing the weapon system,” they noted.READ MORE: Indian Navy gets Rs 19,000 cr mega BrahMos boost

BrahMos Missile Contract

  • The contract for over 220 extended-range BrahMos missiles, with a strike range of 450 km, was approved to arm frontline warships of the Navy.
  • The contract, to be inked in early March, is the first consolidated order for the extended-range BrahMos missiles and will be delivered over five to six years.

Advanced Engines for Fighter Jets

In addition to the BrahMos deal, the Indian government also greenlit a project for the manufacture of new advanced engines for the existing fleet of MiG-29 fighters in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The engines, to be produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in collaboration with Russia, will cost about Rs 5,300 crore.

High-Powered Radars and Air Defence Guns

Further enhancing India’s defence capabilities, the government approved two other projects for the acquisition of high-powered radars and new versions of the L-70 air defence guns. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) will manufacture these systems with some foreign technology, with each project valued at around Rs 6,000 crore.

The Indian Air Force will procure new radars to replace and augment the existing chain of radars along both borders. This move aims to strengthen India’s radar coverage in strategic areas. The Cabinet Committee has also approved the ambitious Made in India Close-in Weapon System project, valued at around Rs 7,000 crore. This system, based on a derivative of air defence guns, will provide enhanced protection to vital assets and points against potential attacks by drones and aircraft.

READ MORE: After Sukhoi upgrade, IAF to also get high-tech radars and air defence guns worth Rs 13,000 crore soon

Other Defence Deals

  • Hindustan Aeronautics will manufacture new advanced engines for existing MiG-29 fighters in IAF fleet, in collaboration with Russia, for about Rs 5,300 crore.
  • L&T will manufacture high-powered radars and new versions of the L-70 air defence guns, each deal valued at almost Rs 5,000 crore.

Strengthening National Security and Indigenous Manufacturing

These investments highlight India’s commitment to bolstering its defence capabilities and promoting indigenous manufacturing. The BrahMos missiles, jointly manufactured with Russia in India, have already become a key precision-strike weapon for the armed forces, with contracts worth over Rs 38,000 crore. The recent approvals further solidify India’s position as a key player in the global defence market and underscore the country’s drive towards self-reliance in defence production.

READ MORE: Govt clears Rs 31,000 cr defence orders

Future Outlook

India’s defence sector is witnessing a paradigm shift towards indigenization and self-reliance, with significant deals and projects being approved. The strategic move to enhance the Indian Navy’s firepower with BrahMos missiles and the push for ‘aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in defence manufacturing reflect India’s broader defence strategy. These developments not only aim to strengthen national security but also position India as a key player in the global defence export market.

READ MORE: India sets annual defence production target of Rs 3 lakh cr and defence exports worth Rs 50,000 cr by 2028-29

Rs 3 lakh crore Annual Defence Production by 2028-29

India is set to achieve a milestone in its defence sector, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announcing that the country’s annual defence production is expected to reach Rs 3 lakh crore by 2028-29. Singh emphasized the Modi government’s focus on “long-term gains” in all sectors, aiming to develop India into a developed nation by 2047. He highlighted the significant progress India has made in defence exports, which have increased from under Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 16,000 crore.

Budget Allocation and Strategic Acquisitions

The defence ministry has been allocated Rs 6.2 lakh crore in the 2024-25 budget, the highest among all ministries. Singh highlighted that capital acquisitions worth over Rs 4.3 lakh crore have been approved, reflecting the government’s commitment to enhancing national security. He emphasized the importance of jointness among the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, noting improved coordination to address challenges jointly.

READ MORE: New Corps at Bareilly: How Indian Army plans to get war ready against China

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