Govt clears fast-tracking of initiatives to arm Israeli drones, produce Russian AK rifles in India | India News

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday authorized measures to hurry up long-pending initiatives to arm its Israeli drones with lethal weapons and indigenously manufacture Russian Kalashnikov assault rifles, whereas additionally clearing procurements value Rs 8,722 crore of primary coach plane, naval weapons and specialised anti-tank ammunition.
The choice by the Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council (DAC) to fast-track the just about decade-old proposal to arm the Israeli Heron drones, particularly, is important because it comes amidst the continued navy confrontation with China in jap Ladakh.
Sources mentioned “Project Cheetah” to improve the Heron unmanned aerial automobiles (UAVs) with laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground anti-tank missiles and different precision-guided munitions in addition to superior reconnaissance capabilities will value over Rs 3,500 crore. “The business contract negotiation for the drones’ improve was accomplished way back. Now, it will likely be despatched to the Cabinet Committee on Security for approval,” mentioned a supply.
The Indian armed forces have round 90 such medium-altitude, lengthy endurance Heron UAVs, that are at the moment used for long-range surveillance and precision-targetingmissions. While these drones return after their missions like fighter plane, IAF additionally has some Israeli Harop “killer” or Kamikaze drones that act as cruise missiles by exploding into targets and radars.
India is concurrently additionally finalizing the plan to amass the rather more superior Predator-B or weaponized Sea Guardian dronesfrom the US, with six of the proposed 30 drones prone to be procured by the fast-track procurement route now, as was first reported by TOI.
The DAC additionally sorted out “some contractual points” of the stalled Indo-Russia three way partnership to make 6.71 lakh AK-203 rifles, a spinoff of the well-known AK-47 weapons, at Korwa ordnance manufacturing unit in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh.
TOI had reported in June that the “unreasonable and unacceptable” prices for manufacturing the 7.62×39 mm caliber rifles, at an preliminary estimated value of Rs 4,358 crore, had delayed the inking of the ultimate contract.
The precise procurements cleared by the DAC on Tuesday included the Rs 7,600 crore one for HTT-40 primary coach plane (BTA), the prototypes of that are present process the certification course of after being developed by defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL).
“DAC authorized procurement of 106 BTA from HAL to handle IAF’s primary coaching necessities. Post-certification, 70 BTA will initially be procured from HAL and the remainder 36 after the HTT-40 fleet turns into operational in IAF,” mentioned the defence ministry.
This comes after the federal government earlier rejected IAF’s case to amass 38 extra Swiss Pilatus trainers, so as to add to the 75 already inducted below the Rs 2,896 crore deal inked in May 2012, after the international firm was discovered to have employed absconding arms seller Sanjay Bhandari, as was reported by TOI earlier.
The DAC additionally authorized procurement of an upgraded model of the 76mm tremendous speedy gun mount (SRGM) medium-range weapons, that are fitted on naval and Coast Guard ships, from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
“The upgraded SRGM model has enhanced functionality to carry out towards quick manoeuvring targets like missiles and fast-attack crafts, whereas growing the utmost engagement vary. It will increase the Navy’s firepower,” mentioned the MoD.
With the provision of requisite functionality for indigenous growth of ammunition, each by way of manufacturing and know-how, the DAC additionally authorized procurement of 125 mm APFSDS (armour piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot) ammunition for the Army as a “design and growth case”. The ammunition being procured could have a 70% indigenous content material, mentioned the MoD.

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