The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is set to review two significant proposals with a cumulative budget exceeding 1 lakh crore. These proposals come from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, presenting ambitious plans for the country’s defense capabilities.
Navy’s Repeat Order for Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-II:
- The Navy has proposed a repeat order of an Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-II, following the success of the INS Vikrant.
- This carrier is estimated to cost around 40,000 crore.
- IAC-II, displacing 45,000 tonnes, will incorporate modifications and newer technologies, enhancing the original design.
- It will be manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
- The proposal has already been cleared by the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) and is expected to be discussed at the upcoming DAC meeting.
Indian Air Force’s Request for 97 LCA-MK1A Fighters
- The Indian Air Force is seeking 97 additional Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MK1A fighters to bolster its aerial capabilities.
- This request is estimated to cost approximately 67,000 crore.
- This request comes in addition to the 83 LCA-MK1A fighters previously ordered from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- If approved, this expansion would result in a total of 180 LCA-MK1A jets and 220 jets of the MK1 variant, significantly strengthening the IAF’s fleet.
- As per the 2021 contract with HAL, three LCA-MK1A jets are scheduled for delivery in February 2024, with subsequent deliveries of 16 aircraft per year for the following five years.
Sukhoi Upgrade Proposal
- The Defence Procurement Board (DPB) is scheduled to discuss a proposal for the major upgrade of 84 SU-30MKI fighter jets, estimated to cost just over 6,000 crore.
- The upgrade of these jets will be primarily an indigenous effort, with an impressive 78% indigenous content.
- Russia, the original equipment manufacturer, will collaborate on specific aspects such as the fly-by-wire system and system integration.
Uttam AESA Radar Integration
- The proposal includes integrating the indigenous Uttam Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) into these upgraded jets.