The defence ministry on Friday approved the purchase of 13 high-calibre guns from the BAE System at a cost of Rs 3,053 crore for the naval warships that are under construction in various dockyards.
The 127 mm calibre guns will be fitted on-board new destroyers and frigates for naval gunfire support operations to undertake surface engagements. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the purchase of these guns — a long-pending proposal from the Navy.
The weapons have a normal range of 24 km, which can be extended further by using special extended range gun munitions.
“These guns would be procured from BAE Systems of the USA under the (Defence Procurement Procedure) category of Buy (Global) at a cost of over Rs 3,000 crore,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
The apex acquisition council also cleared purchase of Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) anti-tank Nag missile system for the Army at a cost of Rs 524 crore.
The system includes Nag anti-tank guided missile, along with its missile carrier vehicle.
Named after former scientific advisor to the DRDO, B D Nagchaudhuri, the homegrown weapon is a third generation anti-tank guided missile with top attack capabilities to effectively engage and destroy all known types of tanks during day and night.
Acquisition of Nag missile system, claims the defence ministry statement, would boost Army’s capability against enemy armour.
In February 2018, the DRDO claimed it completed the development trials of the indigenous missile with the successful targeting of two tanks in the Rajasthan desert. Development of Nag — one of the missiles under A P J Abdul Kalam’s integrated guided missile programme — began in the 1980s and took three decades to complete the development phase.
The DAC also reviewed the progress of the DRDO programme to develop indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System.