India Approves $1.1 Bln Deal to Boost Fighting Capabilities of Armed Forces in Indian Ocean

© AP PhotoAircraft carriers and warships participate in the second phase of Malabar naval exercise, a joint exercise comprising of India, US, Japan and Australia, in the Northern Arabian Sea on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.
Aircraft carriers and warships participate in the second phase of Malabar naval exercise, a joint exercise comprising of India, US, Japan and Australia, in the Northern Arabian Sea on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.11.2021
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The Indian Navy has expedited the manufacture and induction of its potent warships in the last few weeks to strengthen its capabilities in the Indian Ocean to remain a dominant force amid the growing presence of Chinese warships in the region. The Indian defence minister has said the Navy's role will increase manifold in the future.
India's Defence Acquisition Council - the apex decision-making organisation related to procurement - has approved the purchase of light utility helicopters, naval guns, and sophisticated tracking and detection systems for the Indian Armed Forces.
On Tuesday, a meeting held under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accorded approval for capital acquisition proposals for the modernisation and operational needs of the Indian Armed Forces in the amount of $1.1 billion.
The approvals include the procurement of 12 light utility helicopters (LUH) from the state-owned firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which will replace the Army and the Indian Air Force's ageing fleets of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
The procurement of LUH will provide significant relief to the forces which have lost 15 Cheetah and Chetak helicopters in the last 10 years, killing several pilots.
Currently, Cheetah and Chetak are a critical lifeline for troops in the Ladakh region, where Indian troops are stationed to counter "any misadventure" by China's People's Liberation Army.
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"Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited will enhance the detection tracking and engagement capabilities of Naval warships and Mid Life Upgradation of the Dornier Aircraft from HAL to increase the Naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance", the Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Lynx U2 can accurately track air and surface targets, generating the required target data to predict weapon aiming points and engage targets.
The target engagement is carried out with medium- and short-range gun mounts like the Russian AK176, A190, and AK630 and the upgraded super rapid gun mount available on ships.
The system will be installed on the Talwar and Teg classes of warships.
The Indian Navy inducted one of its most potent warships, the Visakhapatnam class destroyer last week.
The 73,00-tonne destroyer features Israeli MF star radar, 16 Brahmos, anti-submarine rocket launchers, and 32 Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles.
The 7th Indian Navy P1135.6 class frigate was also launched in Russia on 28 October 2021 at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad.
The second round of sea trials for the country's first 40,000-tonne domestic aircraft carrier (IAC Vikrant) is also progressing well, and the IAC Vikrant will be commissioned in August 2022.
The 140-warship Indian Navy hopes to achieve a target of 198 warships by 2027 despite budget constraints and delay in manufacturing to remain forceful in the Indian Ocean amid the increased power of China, which has around 350 warships and submarines.
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