The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday signed five major capital acquisition contracts worth ₹39,125.39 crore for procurement of aero-engines, Close-in Weapon System (CIWS), High-Power Radar (HPR) and supersonic cruise BrahMos missiles.

Of the five contracts exchanged in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Secretary Giridhar Aramane, the voluminous was for procurement of BrahMos missiles from M/s BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL) for ₹19,518.65 crore. This is to meet combat outfit and training requirements of Indian Navy, the MoD stated.

Besides that, another contract was inked for the acquisition of shipborne BrahMos missile system at a cost of ₹988.07 crore as the Navy is looking at equipping it’s frontline warships with supersonic cruise missile as its primary weapon for strike operations.

“The system is capable of hitting land or sea targets from extended ranges with pinpoint accuracy at supersonic speeds,” the Ministry informed. Businessline, however, reported on February 22 that the Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the deal for 200 BrahMos missiles which have an extended range of 400 to 500 km. Both the projects, stated the Ministry, will generate employment directly as well as for the ancillary industries.

Reduce dependency

The MoD said these deals will further strengthen indigenous capabilities, save foreign exchange and reduce dependency on Foreign Origin Equipment Manufactures in future.

Another contract signed with navratna defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is for the production of RD-33 aero engines for twin-engine MiG-29 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force struggling with depleting strength. It’s worth ₹5,249.72 crore, as per the MoD. While IAF has about 75 Mig-29s, and Indian Navy has another 45 of them, taking the total to 120.

The aero-engines, informed the Ministry, will be produced by the Koraput Division of HAL under the Transfer of Technology (TOT) license from the Russian Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). “These Aero Engines are expected to fulfil the need of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to sustain the operational capability of the MiG-29 fleet for the residual service life,” MoD statement read.

Critical components

The programme will focus on the indigenisation of several high-value critical components, which would help increase the indigenous content of future Repair and Overhaul (ROH) tasks of RD-33 aero-engines.

To boost the country’s air defence, the MoD inked the remaining two contracts with M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd for the procurement of ₹7,668.82 crore worth Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) and of High-Power Radar (HPR) for of ₹5,700.13 crore.

The CIWS project comprises Air Defence Guns, Tracking Radars and a Search Radar linked to a Command & Control Shelter along with associated simulators and communication equipment, said the L&T. The CIWS – planned for deployment at various locations across India to protect vital assets from all types of low flying, low signature aerial threats including UAVs – will boost and encourage active participation of Indian aerospace, defence and associated industries including MSMEs. The direct and indirect employment generated by this project would be approximately an average of 2,400 persons/ year over the period of five years, the Ministry said.

Likewise, the HPR is a static sensor for long range aerial surveillance and will replace existing long-range radars of the lAF. Equipped with multiple NextGen features and capable of remote operations, they will augment IAF’s capabilities for monitoring special zones of interest, designating and tracking adversaries with optimal accuracy, claims the L&T.

“It will significantly enhance the terrestrial Air Defence capabilities of IAF with integration of sophisticated sensors capable of detection of small Radar Cross Section targets. It will boost to indigenous radar manufacturing technology as it would be first of its kind radar built by the private sector in India,” stated the Ministry.

The direct and indirect employment generated by this project, said the MoD, would be approximately average of 1,000 people/year over the period of five years.