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Rs 15,000 crore weapons purchase proposal approved by government

Rs 15,000 crore weapons purchase proposal approved by government

NEW DELHI: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday approved proposals worth more than Rs 15,000 crore to acquire light machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles for the three forces.

The council approved the procurement of an "essential quantity" of light machine guns (LMGs) for the three services through the so-called fast track procedure, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,819 crore. The fast-track process is to meet urgent requirements of the regular and special forces.

The defence ministry is also processing a proposal for the procurement of more LMGs under the 'Buy and Make (in India)' category. This category refers to an initial procurement of readyto-use equipment from an Indian vendor engaged in a tie-up with a foreign manufacturer. This is followed by indigenous production, involving transfer of technology from the manufacturer.

The DAC approved the procurement of 7.4 lakh assault rifles. These will be made in India under the 'Buy and Make' category, through both the Ordnance Factory and private industry at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore.

On January 16, the DAC had cleared the procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on a fast-track basis for Rs 3,547 crore. These were for the troops deployed on the borders. So, there will be two different makes of assault rifles for the army, which is the primary user of such rifles.

On Tuesday, the DAC also approved the procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the army and air force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore. "While these high-precision weapons will be bought with 'Buy Global' category, the ammunition for these will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India," said the ministry.

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