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India spent 24,122 crore on defence equipment till Feb '10

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The government has spent Rs 24,122 crore till February 2010 to procure various defence equipment for the armed forces during the current financial year.

"Out of this amount, a sum of Rs 8,143 crore has been spent on procurement from foreign vendors," Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a Lok Sabha query on Monday.

Under the modernisation plans for the armed forces, India is procuring a large number of weapon platforms and systems, which include BRAHMOS Missile, P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, T-90 tanks, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, Smerch rocket launchers, C-130J transport aircraft and SU-30 MKI multi-role fighter jets.

In next 10 years, India is expected to spend over USD 50 billion for modernising its military.

Replying to another query, the Minister said the net worth of government investment in the Defence Public Sector Undertakings and Ordnance Factory Boards was Rs 11,685 crores.

About the Light Combat Aircraft, Antony said the Centre had signed a contract worth Rs 2,701 crores with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for procuring 20 indigenously-built fighters.

He said to check further delays in the programme, "a high level review is being conducted by the Air Force chief once every quarter and once every month by the Deputy Air Chief."

Antony said the LCA was now expected to join the IAF by March 2011.

Answering another query he said, "32 incidents of air space violation by foreign aircraft have taken place during last 3 years (January 2007-2010).

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