Defence Ministry approved the purchase of 145 Ultra Light Howitzers, worth Rs 5,000 crore. Howitzers are to be purchased from the US and also the bulk production of 18 Dhanush artillery guns.
This is the first acquisition of such weapon systems by the Army in three decades since the Bofors scandal.
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, took up 18 proposals including new schemes worth Rs 28,000 crore for discussion.
Another key project that got an Acceptance of Necessity will now allow the Navy to issue tenders. It was the proposal to build six next generation missile vessels under 'Buy Indian' category for Rs 13,600 crore.
"DAC has approved progressing of ongoing case of procurement of 145 Ultra Light Howitzers through the Foreign Military Sales route from US. DAC also directed independent progressing of offset,” said a senior official from Defence Ministry.
“The delivery of these guns will be in India which will help in substantial saving of transportation cost too," he added.
The DAC has also shortened the supply period of the guns, with a strike range of 25 kms, sources said.