Press Trust of india

Def Ministry approved purchase of 41K LMGs, 3.5 lakh carbines

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New Delhi, Feb 28 : The defence ministry today approved capital acquisition proposals worth nearly Rs 9,435 crore including procurement of 41,000 light machine guns and over 3.5 lakh battle carbines to bolster firepower of infantry soldiers deployed along borders with China and Pakistan.

The proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement.

The total cost for procurement of 41,000 LMGs will be Rs 3,000 crore while over 3.5 lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines will be bought at a cost of Rs 4,607 crore respectively, defence ministry officials said.

They said the weapons are being procured particularly to enhance the fire power of soldiers deployed along India’s borders with Pakistan and China.

“With the approval of these two proposals, the government has cleared procurement of the entire range of personal weapons for the three services,” the ministry said in a statement.

It  said “Of these, immediate operational requirement for the soldiers deployed on the borders will be procured through fast track procurement and for the balance production lines will be set up in India.”

On February 13, the defence ministry had approved capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 15,935 crore which included purchase of 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns.

Out of total quantities of the weapons, 75 per cent will be procured through Indian Industry under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ category and balance through the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), officials said.

The DAC, chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, also approved procurement of “essential quantity” of ‘High Capacity Radio Relay’ (HCRR) for the Army and the Air Force at an estimated cost of over Rs 1,092 crore.

The defence ministry said these state-of-the-art, high capacity radio relays would ensure reliable communication to the services along with increased bandwidth in the tactical battle area.

To enhance the ability of the Indian Coast Guard to rapidly undertake pollution control measures off the East Coast and Island Territories, the DAC cleared the proposal for acquisition of two Pollution Control Vessels (PCV).

The vessels would be built by Indian shipyards at an approximate cost of Rs 673 crore.

“These ships in addition to carrying out pollution control would also be capable of undertaking patrolling, search and rescue and limited salvage and fire­ fighting operations at sea,” the ministry said.

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