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Nirmala Sitharaman Approves Procurement of 111 Choppers for Navy

By: Uday Singh Rana

Edited By: Bijaya Das

News18.com

Last Updated: October 31, 2017, 21:16 IST

File photo of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Image: PTI)

File photo of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Image: PTI)

A Defence Ministry source said that 16 of these aircraft will be bought from a foreign manufacturer in flyaway condition while 95 will be produced in India.

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). The DAC under Sitharaman approved the procurement of 111 naval helicopters for the Indian Navy. Of these, 95 will be produced in India under the government's 'Make in India' doctrine.

"The DAC approved 111 naval utility helicopters for Indian Navy under Make in India. The country will buy 16 choppers in fly-away condition while 95 will be manufactured at a later stage in the country. The total cost will be Rs 21,738 crore," a Defence Ministry source said.

This means that 16 of these aircraft will be bought from a foreign manufacturer and 95 will be produced in India, possibly under a joint venture between an Indian and foreign manufacturer. In addition to the helicopters, the Defence Minister also approved the procurement of 9 Towed Aray SONAR systems for the Indian Navy vessels. This will help the Indian Navy, a Defence Ministry source said, boost its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities. The cost of the SONAR system will be Rs 450 crore.

This is the latest in the government's attempts to modernise the Indian Navy and the equipment that it possesses. Recently, India sought to buy US-made Sea Guardian drones for its navy to monitor activities along its coastline, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. The Sea Guardian, the naval variant of the MQ-9 Reaper Drone, has a range of over 1,800 kms and can attain an operational altitude of 50,000 feet. It can operate for 14 hours at a stretch and can attain a maximum speed of 300 kmph. The variant that India is expected to buy cannot carry weapons and can only be used for surveillance purposes.
first published:October 31, 2017, 21:06 IST
last updated:October 31, 2017, 21:16 IST