De­fence Min­istry gives nod for Is­raeli Barak mis­sile and other deals

SP's MAI - - SPOTLIGHT -

The De­fence Min­istry has cleared the long­pend­ing naval pro­cure­ment of an ad­di­tional 262 Is­raeli Barak-I mis­siles at an es­ti­mated cost of R 880 crore. The deal was mired in con­tro­versy and now it goes be­fore the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Se­cu­rity.

The In­dian Navy has been de­mand­ing re­plen­ish­ment of stock of mis­siles to arm the Is­raeli Barak-I an­timis­sile de­fence (AMD) sys­tems fit­ted on 14 front­line war­ships like air­craft car­rier INS Vi­raat and the lat­est Shiva­lik-class stealth frigates. But with CBI fail­ing to find ev­i­dence of kick­backs in the orig­i­nal R 1,160 crore Barak-I deal inked by the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance (NDA) regime in Oc­to­ber 2000, the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil (DAC) has now cleared the fresh case af­ter con­sult­ing the Law Min­istry and At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

The DAC also gave the green sig­nal for the de­layed naval project for 16 anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare (ASW) war­ships for R 13,440 crore and two div­ing sup­port ves­sels meant for res­cu­ing sailors from dis­abled sub­marines for R 1,500 crore. It also ap­proved the R 300-crore pur­chase of 41 Dhruv ad­vanced he­li­copters, man­u­fac­tured by the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL).

The pro­posal for two deep sub­mer­gence res­cue ves­sels like “mini sub­marines” — which ‘mate’ with dis­abled sub­marines un­der­wa­ter to res­cue trapped sailors from depths up to 610 me­tres — for in­stance has been stuck for over 15 years.

Of the sev­eral projects cur­rently un­der­way— Is­rael Aero­space In­dus­tries (IAI) and the De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) are jointly de­vel­op­ing a long-range sur­face-to-air mis­sile sys­tem for R 2,606 crore to arm In­dian war­ships and a medium-range SAM sys­tem for IAF at a cost of R 10,076 crore.

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