New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) The defence ministry on Thursday approved procurement of six P 8I anti-submarine warfare jet, indigenous development of airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft and other military platforms at a cost of Rs 22,800 crore.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Officials said the DAC approved purchase of six P 8I aircraft from aerospace major Boeing to bolster the Indian Navy's anti-submarine combat capability.
'These aircraft would greatly strengthen the Navy's capabilities for maritime coastal surveillance, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface vessel (ASV) strike,' the defence ministry said in a statement.
At present, the Indian Navy operates eight P-8I long-range maritime aircraft from INS Rajali located near Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.
The DAC also approved procurement of twin-engine heavy helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard to help the force undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism and infiltration of terrorists by sea routes, officials said.
As a follow-up of the indigenous airborne early warning and control programme, the DAC approved procurement of at least two additional AWACS, sources said.
'The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft would be indigenously designed, developed and integrated onto the main platform by Defence Research and Development Organisation,' the defence ministry said.
These platforms would provide on-board command and control which would assist the Indian Air Force in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time, the ministry said.
'Induction of these systems would increase the extent of coverage along our borders and greatly enhance both the air defence and offensive capabilities of the IAF,' it said.
The DAC also approved indigenous development and manufacturing of 'thermal imaging night sights' for Assault Rifles.
'These equipment will be manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the frontline,' the ministry said.
Thermal imaging night sights would enable troops to undertake long range accurate engagements in dark and all weather conditions, officials said. PTI MPB ZMN