The Defence Ministry on Friday approved the procurement of 10 Kamov Ka-31 Airborne Early Warning and Control helicopters for the Indian Navy. According to reports, the total cost of the deal would be around Rs 3,600 crore. These helicopters would be deployed aircraft carriers and warships. INS Vikrant, First Indigenous-Built AirCraft Carrier to Be Delivered to Indian Navy in 2021: Admiral Sunil Lanba.
The aim of the choppers is to sanitise the air space around the battle groups led by the aircraft carriers and are used for anti-submarine warfare operations. The Navy has already a fleet of 12 of these choppers. In addition to these helicopters, the force has also Kamove-28 and Kamov 25 choppers. Indian Navy to Get MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk Helicopters Soon; US Approves USD 2.6 Billion Deal.
Now the deal will be presented before the cabinet committee on security for the final approval. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which takes decisions on defence deals is headed by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The council also includes chiefs of three services. Indian Navy’s Virtual Reality Centre For Designing Warships Inaugurated by Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the defence ministry signed two separate contracts with Cochin Shipyard Limited and GRSE to build 16 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWC) for the Indian Navy. Both the shipyards will build eight ASWSWCs each. Both the contracts are worth Rs 6,311 crore each.
In view of India’s vast coastline of 7516.6 kilometer with 12 Major ports, 184 minor ports and 1197 Island territories, coastal surveillance for ASW operations is considered critical. Induction of these specialised ships with lower draught, would significantly enhance coastal shallow water Anti Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy with improved performance of weapons, censors, hall mounted and towed sonars.
(Picture Courtesy: Twitter)
A defence deal to buy 20 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer planes is likely to be called off by the Air Force. The main reason for scrapping the deal is that the price to buy these advance trainer jets are like to cost more than Rs 2,000 crore, which is beyond the expectations of the defence ministry. The negotiations for the deal have been stuck for almost three years, and now the prices are further hiked by the vendors.
The Air Force is also not showing any interest in upgrading the fleet of over 120 Hawk planes. These planes were inducted into service after a deal with Britain in 2004. The Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) is offering to upgrade the Hawk fleet of the Air Force to Hawk India jets by adding combat capabilities, reported Mail Today, citing government sources.
According to the report, the sources said, “”The benchmark price of each aircraft was around Rs 90 crore but the initial price offered by the vendors including the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was more than double.” They further told Mail Today, “In the contract negotiations, the vendors have cut down the price but even now, the price offered is more than 60 per cent of what the defence ministry is willing to pay for the planes.”
The government also wants the forces should utilize the budget in the best possible way to enhance its fighting capabilities. According to the sources, the Hawk fighter jets are newly inducted and the last Hawk batch was inducted just three years ago, so there is no need to upgrade the fleet. The Indian Force proposed to buy 20 Hawk planes from a British firm during the UPA government. It wanted to replace the Kiran MK2 with the Hawk Advanced Fighter Jets to be equipped with smoking pots to fly with Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), reported The Mail Today.
In 2010 the contract for the last batch of 57 planes was done between India and the British firm with the aim to enhance training programmes of the Air Force and the Navy. India had procured the fleet of 66 Hawk jets in 2004.