The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Monday approved a host of defence procurement proposals worth Rs 860 crore including purchase of 100 additional Israeli Barak-I surface-to-air missiles for naval warships at a cost of around Rs 500 crore.
The DAC also approved Rs 311 crore procurement of equipments to counter mines in the sea besides the purchase of “expendable bathy thermograph systems” (or devices with a temperature sensor to detect changes in water temperature) under the foreign military sales route from the US.
This was the first meeting of DAC after Arun Jaitley assumed the additional charge of the defence ministry on March 13.
The purchase of additional Barak-I missiles for naval warships will enhance India’s maritime capability in view of the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region. The missiles will be procured under ‘Buy Global’ category from Rafael Advance Defense Systems Limited of Israel at an approximate cost of around Rs 500 crore, defence ministry sources said.
Almost all ships of the navy will be equipped with these missiles.
Sources said that while clearing new capital acquisitions, Jaitley also reviewed several old procurement proposals as well and gave instructions for their speedy processing. They said he particularly asked for close monitoring of the proposals which are with CFA (Competent Finanancial Authority) and CNC (Contract Negotiation Committee).
The clearance for purchase of additional 100 Barak-I missiles assumes significance as it comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. Israel is one of the top three suppliers of defence equipments to India.