India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved procurements worth INR18.50 billion (USD286 million) for the Indian Army (IA) and the Indian Navy (IN) on 20 February.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, cleared the acquisition of 156 licence-built BMP-2/2K Sarath infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) for INR11.25 billion from the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
The ICV procurement for the IA “will meet the operational requirement of troops for [the] rapid deployment of mechanised forces”, the government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a statement.
The new platforms will supplement the 693 BMP-2/2Ks that are being upgraded to BMP-2M standard at the OFB’s Medak unit in southern India, where around 1,250 of them were licence-built between 1987 and 2007.
The DAC also cleared the procurement of an indigenously built survey training vessel for INR6.26 billion to enable the IN to conduct hydrographic surveys of ports and harbours.
The PIB statement was released on the same day India’s triservice Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface Agni II ballistic missile from a mobile launcher to a 2,000 km range from the Integrated Test Range at Abdul Kalam Island on India’s east coast.
Officials said the launch of the medium-range, two-stage Agni II, which was developed by the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was conducted in “operational configuration” with a 1,000 kg dummy warhead.
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