New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) The government on Thursday approved the procurement of indigenously designed and developed defence equipment worth Rs 5,500 crore which include 12 high-power radars to detect missile threats in high altitude areas.
The approval to buy the ‘India-designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) equipment was given at the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“Pursuing the goal of indigenization and self-reliance in the field of defence procurements, the DAC approved procurement of 12 high-power radars for the Indian Air Force,” a defence spokesperson said in a statement.
The radars will provide long-range, medium- and high-altitude cover while detecting and tracking high-speed airborne targets following parabolic trajectories.
Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of antenna and will operate on 24X7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement.
“Their procurement will enhance the overall efficacy of the air defence network in the country,” the statement said.
The Air Force had already specified that it would need radars with a capability to detect and track targets at 30-km altitude that can be deployed in high altitude areas and can counter electronic warfare and anti-radiation missiles.
The IAF possesses low to long range radars but is looking to modernize the air defence system of the country. Currently, the force uses a a mix of Russian and French systems like Thales radar which has 600 km range but has been in service for some decades.
The IAF is also looking to acquire Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile defence system.
The acquisition council also accorded approval for procurement of hovercraft or air-cushion vehicles (ACVs) for the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Army.
These vessels would offer advantage over conventional boats and crafts. The air-cushion vehicles come with an ability to travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud-flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats and small crafts.
“These (hover)craft offer capability enhancement for the services and would prove useful for amphibious and riverine operations, especially where there is a requirement to move men and material from one island to another island, across riverine terrain, creeks.”