New Delhi: India on Wednesday took a major step
towards upgrading its Navy`s maritime air reconnaissance
capability and amphibious warfare strength by deciding to
order four each of P8I Poseidon aircraft and Landing Pontoon
Docks (LPDs) totally worth over USD 5 billion.
The four P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft will be
an add-on to the eight that India ordered from the US in
January 2009 for USD 2.1 billion or nearly Rs 10,000 crore.
These four aircraft from the US aerospace major Boeing`s
stable would cost India about USD 1 billion (less than Rs
The four LPDs, on the lines of INS Jalashwa that India
bought from the US for USD 50 million in 2007, would come at a
cost of Rs 16,000 crore and a global tender would be issued
for its under the Defence Ministry`s `Buy and Make` production
policy. Under this, India would make the warships through
license from a foreign firm.
The 17,000-tonne Jalashwa, formerly USS Trenton, is a
Austin class amphibious warfare ship that can carry about
1,000 fully armed army men and has four beach landing craft
and six helicopters.
The two decisions were taken at the meeting of the
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister A
K Antony and attended by the three armed forces chiefs and the
defence secretary this evening, ministry sources told PTI.
The decisions come close on the heels of Antony and Navy
Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma`s visit to the US last week when
they had met the American security top brass to discuss both
business and defence cooperation.
Now the proposals for both these purchases would be sent
to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for clearance, the