• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Business

Delhi bolsters maritime defence with Airbus patrol aircraft order

Initial approval, called Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), was given for Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance and MultiMission Aircraft for the navy and the coast guard

A model of the Airbus C-295 that will augment the Indian defence forces.

By: Eastern Eye

THE INDIAN government last Friday (16) gave initial approval for purchase of 15 maritime patrol aircraft from Airbus and six air-refuel aircraft, officials said.

The defence acquisition coucil, the top defence ministry body for arms acquisition, approved projects worth ₹845.6 billion (£8.07 billion) for the country’s armed forces and coast guard, the government said in a statement.

Initial approval, called Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), was given for Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance and MultiMission Aircraft for the navy and the coast guard.

The statement did not give any further details.

However, two defence officials aware of the matter confirmed that it referred to the maritime surveillance version of the C-295 aircraft made by Airbus, and they will be manufactured in Spain and in India.

The defence acquisition council also approved purchase of flight refueller aircraft for “enhancing the operational capabilities and reach” of the air force, the statement said.

A military official said that the air force would utilise a multivendor bid platform to buy six of these aircraft.

The three officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorised to comment on the subject, did not provide any cost breakdown for the two projects.

A spokesperson for Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last Friday’s approvals also included anti-tank drones for the army and heavy weight torpedoes for naval submarines.

Each of these projects will go through bidding processes or manufacturer negotiations before they are finally approved by the country’s cabinet for purchase.

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