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  India   All India  04 Apr 2017  Navy to get Barak missiles as Centre clears Rs 860 crore plan

Navy to get Barak missiles as Centre clears Rs 860 crore plan

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Apr 4, 2017, 3:10 am IST
Updated : Apr 4, 2017, 6:50 am IST

India is Israel’s largest buyer of military hardware but the transactions have largely been secretive and outside the public gaze.

Arun Jaitley
 Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: With the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean becoming a hub of military activities by the Navies of other nations, including China, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the acquisition of about Rs 860 crore of military hardware in order to buttress the country’s naval strength.

A meeting chaired by Arun Jaitley gave the go-ahead for fresh acquisition of the Israeli Barak missiles. “These state-of-the-art long range surface-to-air missiles (LRSAM) from Raphael Advanced Defence Systems can be fitted on all Navy warships and has been okayed under the buy global category,” a defence ministry source said.

The Barak-LRSAM can track and shoot down incoming subsonic and supersonic missiles, fighter aircraft, maritime patrolling aircraft, helicopters and sea skimming missiles and other airborne objects up to a range of 80 km.

Significantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Israel in June-July to mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries where he is expected to ink several deals, including military ones.

India is Israel’s largest buyer of military hardware but the transactions have largely been secretive and outside the public gaze.

A key capital-acquisition proposal is for equipment to counter mines in the seas. “This procurement meant to detect and destroy underwater mines is being procured as a repeat order under the buy global categorisation at a cost of Rs 311 crore,” the source said.

Another proposal to gain ‘acceptance of necessity’ is the acquisition of expendable Bathythermograph (BT) systems for the Navy.

The torpedo-shaped BT device is employed to detect changes in water temperature versus depth down to a depth of about 285 metres.

“The defence minister took stock of the various proposals and directed that they should be closely monitored and expeditiously cleared especially those at the stages of CFA (competent financial authority) and CMC (contract negotiations committee),” the source said adding that the DAC also reviewed several old proposals and gave instructions for speedy processing of those proposals.

India is according strong focus on its naval strength that has been sparked off by recent developments in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) including reports of spotting of Chinese nuclear submarines in the Karachi harbour.

There is also a feeling in the relevant circles that the military assets in the southern part of the country need to be bolstered, a region that has been relatively neglected with the armed forces mainly focused in the eastern and northern fronts.

Tags: defence acquisition council, arun jaitley, israeli barak missiles
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi