NEW DELHI: A week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Moscow, the Ministry of Defence on Thursday cleared the purchase of five Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems worth Rs 40,000 crore.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, has decided to buy five units of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile system, which is capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and drones within a range of up to 400 km. Though the exact price of these five firing units will be negotiated later, it is estimated to be close to Rs 40,000 crore. India will be the second buyer of the missile system after China if the deal gets through. It is expected that the deal will be a government-to-government one and could see a forward movement during Modi’s visit to Russia next week.
The S-400 Triumf is designed to knock down flying targets, including those equipped with stealth technologies, from a distance of about 400 km.
It is also capable of striking at ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets. The DAC also gave the Acceptance of Necessity to the Army’s proposal for the purchase of six regiments of the Pinaka rocket system under the ‘Make in India’ category for Rs 14,600 crore. Each regiment of the Pinaka comes with 18 launchers and every launcher has the capability of firing 12 rockets at the same time. Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro and state-run BEML will be providing the systems. The top acquisition body of the ministry also directed the Defence Research and Development Organisation to continue with its process of making the improved Pinaka system as it has proved to be a proud indigenous product. The DAC also okayed the Army’s demand for buying 571 light bullet-proof vehicles to be used in its counter-insurgency operations, at an estimated cost of Rs 310 crore. The Army uses Mahindra jeeps now. It has also got the go-ahead for buying 120 trawls to be used on Russia-origin T-72 and T-90 tanks under the “Buy Global” category for Rs 450 crore. Also cleared was a Rs 425-crore electronic warfare system to be deployed in the mountain region. It has also fine-tuned a cleared proposal to build support ships worth Rs 9,000 crore.