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Def Ministry to review major modernisation projects


NEW DELHI (PTI): Amid the possibility of a budget cut, the Defence Ministry will on Wednesday review major military modernisation projects of the Armed Forces such as plans for acquiring 126 combat aircraft and raising a Strike Corps in the northeastern sector.

In a meeting with the three Services vice chiefs, Defence Minister A K Antony will review the expenditure made by the Armed Forces this year and their plans for the remaining part of the fiscal, Ministry officials said.

The meeting comes at a time when there is a possibility of a budget cut in view of the economic slowdown.

The Defence Ministry has been allocated Rs 1.93 lakh crore for the current fiscal but it had made a demand for additional funds of more than Rs 40,000 crore for meeting its capital requirements.

The Defence Ministry has undertaken a major defence modernisation project under which it is planning to spend $100 billion on procurements for Armed Forces in the next five to 10 years.

In recent times, the services have also been asked to prioritise their procurements and avoid duplication in acquisitions.

The major Indian defence procurement programmes include the multi-billion dollar deal for procuring 126 multi-role combat aircraft, over $2 billion deal for procuring six mid-air refuelling tankers, six additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the US.

In recent times, the Defence Ministry has cleared several proposals expected to be worth over Rs 600,000 crore at the meetings of the Defence Acquisition Council.

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