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India to procure 97 Tejas jets, 156 Prachand choppers in over ₹1 lakh-crore deal

In a big boost to India’s defence system, the Centre approved the procurement an additional batch of 97 Tejas light combat aircraft and 156 Prachand helicopters on Thursday. “The move is aimed at boosting the overall combat capability of the armed forces,” official sources were quoted by PTI as saying.

Defence officials said the Tejas fighter jets cost around 65,000 crore. “Today, the defence ministry has cleared the proposal for the acquisition of 97 LCA mark 1A fighter jets for the Indian Air Force at a cost of around 65,000 crore,” officials were quoted by ANI as saying.

Besides this, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, also cleared a proposal of the Indian Air Force to upgrade its Su-30 fighter fleet, sources said.

“These proposals are worth 1.6 lakh crore and are indigenous projects,” defence officials said. Meanwhile, PTI reported that these mega procurement projects and the Su-30 upgrade programme are expected to cost the exchequer 1.3 lakh crore.

The defence ministry is expected to provide the details of the projects cleared by the DAC soon. 

Meanwhile, on November 28, top government sources had told PTI that the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) has accorded in-principle approval to the ambitious proposal signalling the government’s readiness to go for the second indigenous aircraft carrier, to be known as IAC II.

The Indian Naval Force has been making a strong push for having the IAC-II with a displacement of 45,000 tonnes which is estimated to cost close to 40,000 crore with the envisaged specifications.

India’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (IAC I) was commissioned in September by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources said the IAC II will be kind of a repeat order of the IAC I. According to the plan, the IAC II will be built by state-run Cochin Shipyard.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 30 Nov 2023, 05:11 PM IST

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