India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Tuesday cleared the purchase of two more surveillance aircraft from Israel at a cost of INR 7,500 crore (USD 1.1 billion).
The CCS chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the proposal for two Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) under a tripartite agreement with Israel and Russia, The Hindu reported Thursday.
The AWACS are advanced radars mounted on an aircraft to give 360 degree coverage to detect incoming aircraft and missiles at long ranges.
India had procured three Phalcon AWACS, Israeli radars mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft, in 2003 at cost of $1 billion.
Modi is expected to visit Israel later this year, the first by any Indian prime minister.
According to a report by HIS Jane's 380 website, India is expected to procure Israeli military equipment worth an estimated $3 billion ahead of the visit.
In addition to the AWACS, it is due to procure four supplementary Rafael/IAI radar-equipped aerostats for low-level air and sea surveillance by the Indian Air Force, Haaretz reported.
The CCS, the federal government's primary body on defense and security matters, is also expected to approve a joint development project by IAI/Rafael and India's state-run Defense Research and Development Organization for medium-range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian Army.
India is considering manufacturing indigenously a second line of fighter aircraft and a decision on the issue will be taken within a year, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said on Friday. Asked about the depleting squadron-strength in the IAF, he said there were aircraft that will soon become obsolete, and while the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and under-process Rafale deal will help fill some of the gap, India still needs one more line of fighter planes, which will be made in India
Indian Defense Minister announced Friday that the government has allocated INR 70,000 Crore (US $10.4 billion) for defense acquisition for the 2016 fiscal year
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