The defence forces will get 22 Apache combat choppers, 126 Rafale combat jets and 6 submarines
New Delhi : To boost India’s military capabilities, the Defence Ministry over the last five years has spent a whooping amount of Rs.3.25 lakh crore. The Ministry procured and upgraded a large number of military equipment for the three wings of armed forces including nuclear submarines, special operations transport aircraft and fighter jets, utilising its full allocation of funds and reversing the earlier trend of shortfall in utilisation.
This year too, the ministry has already spent 82% of capital acquisition budget of around Rs.80,000 cr and is slated to fully utilise its allocation. Altogether, the Ministry spent Rs.3.25 lakh crore (around $55 bn) over the last five years on procurement and upgradation of military assets. The procurements included those of 10 C-17 heavylift and 12 C-130J transport aircraft, 12 P-8I anti-submarine warfare planes, Akula-II class nuclear submarine (on lease) and Su-30MKI aircraft. Besides, the money was spent on developing the indigenous LCA Tejas for the IAF and upgradation of 51 Mirage-2000 combat planes.
In 2009-10, the ministry spent Rs.51,112 cr which was 106% of the funds allotted to it whereas in the next fiscal, it spent Rs.62,056 cr, which was 102% of the allocation, the sources said. In 2011-12 and 2012-13 also, the Ministry contuinued this trend by spending over Rs 1.38 lakh crore, which was more than 102% of the modernisation budget, they said.
For the present fiscal, the Defence Ministry was allocated Rs 2.03 lakh crore, of which around Rs.80,000 cr were to be spent on modernisation. So far, 82% of the funds has already been spent and in the next few weeks, the remaining amount would also be spent, sources said. A number of procurements are in the pipeline, some in final stages, and are expected to materialise in months down the line. These include 22 Apache combat choppers, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and the 126 Rafale combat aircraft deal.
The Defence Ministry is also in advance stage of negotiating the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme with Russia, on which it is expected to spend around Rs 1.5 lakh crore in next 10-15 years. It is also in the process of issuing tender for the around Rs.60,000 cr deal for procuring six large conventional diesel electric submarines for the Navy.