New Delhi: Amid rising tension between India and Pakistan, especially after the Pulwama massacre and India's retaliatory Balakot air strikes, the defence ministry is planning to boost the stock of weapons and other equipment available with the Indian security forces.  

The ministry is looking to arm the forces with modern weapons, with special focus on home-made grenades and other weapons. They are also planning to introduce other equipment, which are going to assist soldiers in attack as well as defence. 

Also read: Modi government's big defence self-sufficiency push: Army to get 10 lakh 'Made in India' hand grenades

Ammo for Talwar, Saryu warships

The defence ministry approved projects worth Rs 2,355 crores, including procurement of multimode grenades and fire control systems for the Talwar and Saryu class of warships. 

The move is being seen as a measure to modernise the armed forces and equip them with modern firepower. The decisions were taken during the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Make in India grenades

The defence ministry has also cleared the path for buying 10 lakh hand grenades for the Indian Army under its Make in India programme.

According to the reports, the newly manufactured hand grenades will replace the existing HE-36 grenades that have been manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

The multi-mode grenades have been developed by the DRDO and a production agency has been selected to manufacture them in large numbers. The project worth more than Rs 500 crore.

Special stress is given on developing and manufacturing weapons for forces within the country. Defence sources added that the policy guidelines cleared by Sitharaman-led meeting will also enable issuing of tenders for projects worth Rs 25,000 crore in the coming year. 

The ministry has also taken steps to encourage medium and small shipyards by making them eligible for small value projects

Arming the Special Forces

Earlier this week it was reported that the ministry has decided to buy new assault rifles, ammunition, parachutes and several other specialised equipment from the US for the special forces of the Indian Army. The Army already has the American M4A1 assault rifles, which are used extensively in counter-terrorism operations. It is learnt that the government is also planning to equip the special forces with more carbines. 

Sig Sauer rifles

In February, the defence ministry had sealed the deal to procure 72,400 7.6mm Sig Sauer assault rifles under fast-track procedures. The deal worth Rs 700 crore is aimed at modernising the infantry. The state-of-the-art Sig Sauer assault rifles are already being used by armed forces in the US and some European countries. The Indian Army will receive a bulk  - 66,400 - of the assault rifles, while the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will get 4,000 and 2,000 rifles respectively.