The Defence Ministry on Wednesday approved acquisition proposals worth nearly Rs 9,435 crore, including the purchase of 41,000 light machine guns and more than 3.5 lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines. The proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council that Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired.

“These weapons are an essential component of a soldier’s fighting equipment and will provide a major filip to the fighting capability of the troops,” the council said in a statement. “The government has been conscious of the requirement to modernise basic fighting weapons for the soldiers and has therefore accorded utmost priority to these cases.”

The total cost for procurement of carbines is Rs 4,607 crore, while that of light machines guns is Rs 3,000 crore. Of the total quantities of the weapons, 75% will be purchased through Indian industries under the “Buy and Make (Indian)” category, and the rest through the Ordnance Factory Board, the council said.

Moreover, the council approved the procurement of High Capacity Radio Relay for the Army and the Air Force at an estimated cost of over Rs 1,092 crore. For the Coast Guard, the DAC cleared the proposal for acqusition of two Pollution Control Vessels worth Rs 673 crore.

On February 13, the Defence Ministry had approved proposals worth Rs 15,935 crore for the purchase of 7.4 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles, besides carbines and light machine guns.