India Beefs Up Air Force With 33 Jets, 248 Astra Missiles

In a major boost for the Indian Air Force, the Defence Ministry on Thursday approved the acquisition of 33 new Russian fighter planes including 12 Su-30 MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with 200 Astra Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles.

The fighter aircraft project, that includes upgrading 59 existing MiG-29 platforms, would cost over Rs 18,140 crore, Defence Ministry officials said.

The Defence Ministry cleared the acquisition of 248 Astra Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles for the Indian Air Force and the Navy, the officials said.

The Navy would get 48 Astra missiles for its MiG-29K fighter jets which operate from Goa air base and sometimes on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

Design and development of a new 1,000 kilometre strike range Land Attack Cruise Missile by DRDO has also been cleared, they said.

The officials said that Defence Acquisition Council cleared proposals worth Rs 38,900 crore of which acquisitions worth Rs 31,130 crore would be from the Indian industry.

The projects cleared include ammunition for Pinaka rocket launchers, BMP combat vehicle upgrades and software-defined radios for Army. (ANI)

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