Manohar Parrikar clears Rs 900 crore Army deal with Israel at the meeting of the Defence Ministry's apex procurement-related decision-making body Defence Acquisition Council in Delhi.
The decision was taken by the minister at the meeting of the Defence Ministry's apex procurement-related decision-making body Defence Acquisition Council here.
"We have asked the Army to buy close to 4,900 sets of Tadiran combat net radios from the Israeli firm Elbit but with an assurance that they would buy the DRDO-developed sets in the future," senior Defence Ministry sources told MAIL TODAY here.
The radio sets are used by the Army for communication between soldiers operating in field areas and battle zones.
The Army had earlier procured the Tadiran communication sets from Israel when the DRDO had not developed its indigenous version in the country. Later, when the Army moved in for procuring 5,000 more of this equipment, the DRDO and Department of Defence Production offered their product for meeting its requirement.
The Army insisted on the Israeli product saying the Indian radio sets would not be able to be used with the existing inventory as their source code was not provided to India by Tel Aviv.
When the matter reached Parrikar, he insisted that the Army go for the 'under development' product and a roadmap should be fixed for inducting it in the force.
He also asked the Army to ensure that the Israeli firm give source codes of the Tadiran sets so that they can be used with Indian equipment also.
"Two days back, the Army gave a letter to the ministry stating that the Israeli firm has agreed to provide source codes of their equipment to India and it would take indigenous equipment in future. After that the deal was cleared by the DAC on Thursday," the sources revealed.
The Defence Ministry also gave its final nod to the long-pending acquisition of M777 howitzers as now it would be sent to the Finance Ministry for decision on the value of the deal before it reaches the Cabinet Committee on Security for final clearance.
The howitzers have been one of the most critical requirements of the Army which has failed to acquire even a single new artillery gun in the last three decades after the Bofors scandal. The guns would be deployed on the mountainous borders with both China and Pakistan. The meeting also reviewed the progress in various defence deals that have been listed as priority by the Narendra Modi government.