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Defence Ministry to discuss acquisition proposals worth over Rs 5,000 crore

New Delhi [India], December 28 (ANI): The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is expected to discuss acquisition proposals worth over Rs 5,000 crore at a high level meeting likely to be held in the next few days.

One of the proposals likely to be made pertains to the acquisition of three naval cadet training ships for training young cadets of the maritime force, defence sources told ANI.

The ships would be required to be built under Make in India in the defence category and Indian shipyards would be allowed to participate in the tender.

The tender is being reissued by the Navy as a private shipyard had earlier failed to deliver the vessels under a contract signed around five years ago. Due to the delays, the Navy is being forced to restart the acquisition process again.

Cadet Training Ships are used by the Navy to train its young officers and sailors along with those of the Indian Coast Guard.

During the meeting, a Coast Guard proposal to acquire six maritime surveillance aircraft for enhancing security along the coastal areas of the country is also likely to be discussed.

The surveillance equipment for these six aircraft would be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and would be equipped on a transport plane likely to be acquired by the Indian Air Force for replacing its Avro aircraft.

The Air Force is also likely to place a proposal related to its Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure (MAFI) project, under which all the air bases will be upgraded for operating all types of fighter aircraft.

After her elevation as Defence Minister, Sitharaman had decided to hold the DAC meetings twice every month to clear all the pending proposals of armed forces for acquiring weapon systems.

The DAC is the highest Defence Ministry body to take decisions on all matters related to acquisition of weapon platforms and systems.