Defence minister clears Rs7,000-cr acquisition of 244 air defence guns

The defence ministry on Friday cleared the purchase of air defence guns for the Air Force while deferring decisions related to new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to the next meeting, which is likely to be held soon.

The Defence Acquisition Council chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar gave the `acceptance of necessity' for 61 flights of air defence guns for the Air Force, with each flight consisting of four guns. The 244 guns are expected to cost Rs7,000 crore under the 'Buy and Make' procedure of the DPP.

''It is an integrated system with radars and capable of shooting down small radar cross section targets like drones and low flying objects,'' a senior official said.

The guns, which would be installed in vital areas and strategic points, would be manufactured in India, in line with government's 'Make in India' initiative.

In 2015, the government had cleared a pending proposal to buy 145 howitzers from the US subsidiary of BAE Systems for $700 million.

Defence firm BAE Systems had last month announced Mahindra as its business partner for the deal for the supply of 145 M777 howitzers to the Indian army.

The DAC also cleared the Navy's proposal for purchase of weapons and sensor systems for the P17A project wherein seven Shivalik-Class stealth frigates are being built.