Clearing the procurement, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, “National security is of paramount concern for the government and all hurdles and bottlenecks in the procurement process should be addressed expeditiously.”
The midget submarines weigh less than 150 tons and are smaller than conventional submarines. They can carry between 8 to 24 fully armed commandos, who are ejected through the torpedo tubes some miles away from the target, from where they can swim towards their target, complete the mission and swim back; this is why they are also called ‘Swimmer Delivery Vehicles’.
Sources told NDTV that the six conventional submarines will have Air Independent Propulsion Systems which allow the boats to run the diesel engines underwater to charge ships’ batteries, allowing them to stay underwater for longer durations. Besides, they will also have stealth features, which essentially mean that the boats will have greater ability to suppress noise.
The Indian Navy will also get 12 more Dornier Aircraft. These will be built by the Bangalore based defence Public Sector Unit – Hindustan Aeronautic Limited – at a total cost of Rs. 1,850 crore. Dorniers are issued for maritime surveillance and the Navy has a fleet of 40 Dorniers.
Apart from this, the Indian Army will also be buying the third generation Anti-Tank Guided Missiles from Israel. The 8000 Spike ATGM missiles and 300 launchers will come at a cost of Rs. 3,200 crore. The Army will also get about 360 odd Armoured Personnel Carriers built by the Ordinance Factory Board for about Rs. 2,000 crore.