MoD gives nod for procuring military planes, battle tanks
By N C Bipindra | Published: 14th September 2013 10:10 AM |
In a big boost to the country’s defence equipment expansion drive, the Union Ministry of Defence on Friday cleared two major proposals to buy six special operations planes and place an order for 236 Russian-origin battle tanks.
“The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Union Defence Minister A K Antony, has given approval for the proposals to buy six C-130J special operations planes for `4,000 crore and place an order for 236 T-90 tanks worth `6,000 crore,” a Defence Ministry official said.
The C-130J planes would be brought from the US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin as part of a govt-to-govt agreement signed between India and the US in February 2008 for `5,500 crore, which include training of IAF personnel in handling the aircraft and its maintenance.
Six such four-engine turboprop planes, also called the Super Hercules, were inducted into the IAF in February 2011 and are currently operating from the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad. They are being used for both transporting troops and equipment.
The new set of planes, configured for special operations, could be used even for covert commando operations by the special forces the Army, Navy and the Air Force. They would be capable of landing and taking off from improvised and short airstrips.