India spent over Rs 4,42,000 on defence equipment

New Delhi: India spent over Rs 4,42,000 crore in the last ten years on procuring defence equipment for the armed forces from both foreign and Indian players, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

"The total expenditure on defence purchases by India during the years from 2001-02 to 2010-11 (revenue and Capital) was Rs 4,42,607 crore," Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a written query.

In view of threat perception, India has made significant investments in upgrading and augmenting the armed forces as it recently signed deals worth billions of US dollars for procuring aircraft such as Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 strategic airlift transport aircraft, he said.

In the next five years, the Government is expected to spend another USD 100 billion on the modernisation programme of defence forces for procuring artillery howitzers, combat aircraft, armoured vehicles and upgrading existing inventory.

Antony said the procurements have been made from "Indian private sector, public sector undertakings, Ordanance Factories and foreign sources."

In reply to a query on defence shipyards, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said, "Formation of joint ventures has been put on hold till formulation of suitable guidelines regarding the manner in which JV partner can be selected."

He said private shipyards are also being encouraged to participate in defence shipbuilding to meet the requirements of Navy and the Coast Guard.