Ministry of Defence has cleared Indian Navy's deal with Russia for 10 Kamov-31 helicopters to strengthen its capability against aerial threats to its aircraft carriers and large warships. Cost of deal would be around Rs 3,600 crore. The 10 helicopters would be deployed on Indian Navy's aircraft carriers and warships. Deployment of Kamov-31 helicopters largely aims at sanitising air space

Defence ministry has approved the procurement of 10 Kamov Ka-31 Airborne Early Warning and Control helicopters for the Indian Navy.

The cost of the deal would be around Rs 3,600 crore and the 10 helicopters would be deployed on the aircraft carriers and warships of the Navy including the INS Vikrant and Grigorovich-class frigates.

The aim of the choppers is to sanitise the air space around the battle groups led by the aircraft carriers while carrying out operations in the sea or anti-submarine warfare operations.

The Navy has a fleet of Russian Kamov-28 choppers along with the seaking choppers which were procured in 1980s and need to be upgraded for future operations.

The Narendra Modi-led government has not let the election season affect the military modernisation plans as Defence Acquisition Council and cabinet committee on security meetings are being held regularly to clear important acquisitions for the forces.

The Kamov-31 deal would now be processed by the Navy and after negotiations, it would be presented before the cabinet committee on security for final approval.

As this is a follow-on order, which means that when a weapon system (in this case, the chopper) is already with the armed forces and more are needed, the lengthy process of trials has already been gone through and aren't really required again.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is headed by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and includes the three service chiefs and the defence secretary.