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Defence Ministry clears procurement of Barak missiles

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Ministry on Monday cleared procurement proposals worth over Rs 16,000 crore including that of the Israeli Barak missiles, whose acquisition was on hold for the last five years due to a CBI probe in an alleged bribery case.

The Ministry had put on hold procurement of Barak-I missiles because of a CBI probe in the case since 2006.

It also cleared a proposal for acquiring 2 deep submarine rescue vessels for the Navy while approving the indigenous construction of the 16 anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft at the cost of Rs 13,000 crore.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister AK Antony cleared the Rs 880 crore proposal for 262 Barak-I missiles, which are expected to be put on the aircraft carrier INS Virat. It is also the chosen air defence system for the new aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, defence sources said.

The decision in this regard was taken by the Ministry after the Attorney General allowed it to take a decision on procurement of these missiles.

The CBI case in this regard is reportedly in final stages and the investigative agency is reportedly going to soon file a closure report in it.

The Navy had made a strong case for the 9-km range air defence missile and had told the Ministry that it was left with only around 150 of these weapons. In the last DAC, the Ministry had formed an 'Independent Group' to take a final call on the issue.

For the Army, the DAC cleared a proposal for acquiring 41 indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruvs. In the Rs 300 crore procurement, one of the choppers would be provided to the Navy.

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