Defence Ministry to discuss projects worth over Rs 30,000 crore for light chopper, DRDO's AWACS

New Delhi (India), Nov 28 (ANI) The Defence Ministry is likely to take on Thursday a decision on the first "Make in India" project under Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's strategic partnership policy for manufacturing of naval utility helicopters for the Navy.

In a meeting today, the Defence Ministry will also discuss a DRDO-Indian Air Force project to develop two Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS). The project would be worth over Rs 6,000 crore with almost equal funding from both the organisations.

"The first project under the Strategic Partnership policy is scheduled to be taken up for discussion by the Defence Acquisition Council headed by the Defence Minister today," government sources said here.

Under the strategic partnership policy, the Modi government wants to promote indigenous industry in manufacturing world class military hardware and the manufacturing of naval choppers is the first project to have been undertaken as part of it.

Sources said the Navy has decided on the four strategic partners for the project and the DAC will take a final call on names of shortlisted vendors.

The Indian vendors shortlisted for the project by the Navy include Tata, Adani, Bharat Forge and Mahindra Defence Systems who will have to tie up with French Airbus Helicopters, American Sikorsky and Russian Rosoboronexport.

The European firm has offered two of its choppers for the programme.

Along with the chopper programme, the Defence Ministry is also likely to discuss an Army project to acquire around 20,000 night sighting devices for assault rifles of Army troops, the sources said.

The Defence Acquisition Council is the apex body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on acquisition projects of the three services and the Indian coast guard (ANI)