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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Approves – Proposal for GSAT-7C Satellite for Air Force and AK-203 Assault Rifle Deal

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Defence Acquisition Council headed by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh

On 23 November 2021, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting which was held under the Chairmanship of Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, approved the procurement of GSAT(Geostationary Satellite)-7C satellite and Ground Hubs worth Rs 2,236 crore for real-time connectivity of Software Defined Radios (SDRs).

  • DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for one Capital Acquisition proposal of Indian Air Force for its modernization and operational needs under the category of ‘Make in India’.
  • The complete design, development and launching of satellites will be in India and the procurement will enhance the ability of Indian Armed Forces to communicate beyond Line of Sight (LoS) among one another in all circumstances in a secure mode.

-Defence ministry clears Rs 5000 Crore AK-203 Assault Rifle Deal

i.Defence minister gave the final clearance to over Rs 5,000 crore deal with Russia to manufacture 7.5 lakh Russian-designed AK-203 assault rifles in by Amethi, Uttar Pradesh based Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited.

  • The joint venture was supposed to be between Russia’s Kalashnikov and India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). But after OFB ceased to exist earlier this year, the venture will now be with Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited.

ii.The deal is expected to be signed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin who will visit India by December 2021.

iii.The proposal for the production of the advanced AK-203 rifles was first announced in 2018 but the deal was completed due to issues of pricing and transfer of technology for the weapons.

  • Now, the current deal would be resolving the issues on the transfer of technology.
  • The new assault rifles will replace the indigenously manufactured Indian Short Arms System (INSAS) rifles.

iv.As the transfer of technology happens slowly, the first 70,000 of the 7.5 lakh rifles to be acquired by the Indian Army will include Russian made components. These will be delivered to the Army 32 months after the production process begins.

About Russia:

Capital – Moscow
President – Vladimir Putin
Currency – Russian Rouble