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India to buy $200 million in smart bombs from Russia

The purchase comes as India works towards developing its own locally produced munitions

(Sputnik) – India will soon procure 240 smart bombs worth $200 million from Russia to boost its air power. On Tuesday, Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared the purchase plan of these bombs which will be used to hit specific targets with minimum collateral damage.

“These bombs, which fall under the category of Precision Guided Munitions, are used by Indian Air Force (IAF). This procurement will address the deficiency of Precision Guided Munitions in the IAF arsenal, besides enhancing the offensive capabilities of the IAF,” Indian defense ministry said in a statement.

According to an official document, these bombs are effective against ground targets like railway yards/bridges, major installations, bunkers, runways and hardened targets. The bomb can be carried on various in-service aircraft like the Jaguar, MiG and other advanced combat aircraft of the IAF. Such bombs play a very important role in strike missions where aircraft are tasked to destroy ground installations and enemy runways.

At present, the IAF is fully dependent on imports of the lethal bombs from Israel, France, Russia and the United States for its fighters. But the country is also striving to attain self-sufficiency on the munitions front. Last year, the state-owned Defense Research & Development Organization had successfully tested a precision-guided high-speed low drag (HSLD) bomb weighing 500 kg, which is the largest bomb locally developed in the country so far.

“During the carriage trials, the aircraft touched the carriage limits of 0.85 at 150 m altitude and completed 6.5 ‘g’ and full roll maneuvers. The structural integrity of the bomb was found satisfactory after the trials,” DRDO said after the trial.

In 2016, OIS Advanced Technology (OIS-AT) teamed up with Sagem of France to establish a manufacturing unit for precision-guided guidance kits to meet domestic requirements.

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