Army to acquire new air defence system

New Delhi: Army has initiated the process of acquiring new gun systems to take on enemy aircraft and missiles, a month after its chief General V K Singh raised the issue of obsolescence of air defence systems in a letter to the Prime Minister. "The Army is planning to procure Air Defence Guns have a calibre of more than 30mm and is capable of engaging air targets," Army officials told PTI here.

The process to acquire these guns has been initiated after General Singh in his letter to the Prime Minister that was leaked contended that 97 per cent of the air defence guns were facing obsolescence. They said the service has issued a global Request for Information in this regard recently listing its requirements. The Army has specified that the gun should be capable of being transported by broad gauge rakes of the Railways.

The Army Air Defence has initiated several other tenders also for replacing its Russian-origin air defence systems. For upgrading the capabilities of the Army Air Defence (AAD), the Defence Ministry recently said that it ahas signed contracts for procuring Akash Missile Systems and steps were being taken for upgrading Self-propelled Air Defence and Schilka air defence systems.

After the Army Chief pointed out these deficiencies to the government, Defence Minister A K Antony had held meetings to review the capital acquisitions of the force. The Defence Ministry has also taken several steps to do away with the shortage of tank ammunition and has signed contracts with the Russian Rosobornoexport for supplying ammunition for the T-90 tanks.