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Feb 13, 2018 07:47 PM IST | Source: PTI

Defence Ministry approves procurement of 7.40 lakh assault rifles

The defence ministry will also procure light machine guns worth Rs 1,819 crore

In a major decision, the defence ministry today approved capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 15,935 crore which included purchase of 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns to bolster

the strength of the armed forces.

The long-pending proposals were cleared at a meeting of
the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry's

highest decision making body on procurement.

The approval to the proposals come amid increasing
hostilities by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Jammu and
Kashmir as well as China's aggressive posturing in several

sectors along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border.

The defence ministry said the DAC chaired by Defence
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared capital acquisition

proposals which were valued at Rs 15,935 crore.

It said the DAC accorded approval for procurement of 7.4
lakh assault rifles for the three services at an estimated

cost of Rs 12,280 crore.

The rifles will be produced in in India under the 'Buy
and Make (Indian)' category through both state-run Ordnance

Factory Board and private sector.

In a statement, the ministry said "essential quantity" of
Light Machine Guns (LMGs) will be through the "fast track"
route at an estimated cost of over Rs 1,819 crore, primarily
to 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 ministry said.

In the last one month, the DAC has fast tracked
procurement of rifles, carbines and LMGs to equip the soldiers

on the border with modern and more effective equipment.

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, the ministry said.

The sniper rifles will be bought under the 'Buy Global'
category, the ammunition for these weapons will be initially

procured and subsequently manufactured in India.

The ministry said to enhance the anti-submarine warfare
capabilities of Indian Navy, the DAC also approved the
procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems (ATDS) for the

Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 850 crore.

The 'Mareech' system has been developed indigenously by
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 850crore," the ministry said.
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