India Signs Urgent Arms Deals To Keep Forces Ready

The Narendra Modi government in India has started taking necessary steps to make the armed forces fighting fit. India makes the move mainly because of current geopolitical scenario in South Asia.
According to sources close to the Indian Defence Ministry, New Delhi has signed a number of emergency deals for ammunition and spares worth around INR 20 million in recent times so that its fighter jets, tanks and warships can go to battle at short notice.
Sources said that the Modi government has asked the Defence Ministry to guarantee the armed forces can undertake 10 days of “intense fighting” without worrying about ammunition, spares and other reserves.
Speaking at a press conference in the Indian capital on Monday, a senior ministry official said that the government signed new defence deals with Russia, Israel and France after the terror attack in northern Indian city of Uri on September 18, 2016.
According to the official, the increasing anti-India activities in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and southern China prompted the Modi administration to set up empowered procurement committees under the leadership of Army, Navy and Indian Air Force vice chiefs. The government also allowed these committees to use their emergency financial powers in order to “make up deficiencies” in stockpiles at the earliest.
Although Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has not allocated much for new military modernisation projects and sanctioned around INR 86 million for “committed liabilities” (while presenting the annual budget for 2017-18 financial year in the Parliament on January 31), he assured the armed forces that the government would help them fast-track the procedure for ensuring “serviceability and availability” of existing weapon systems and platforms.
Experts are of the opinion that defence deals with countries, like Russia, Israel and France, will help India enjoy strategic gains in the region due to the world class quality of imported weapons. It becomes important for the South Asian nation to be prepared for countering foreign aggression.
For long, China’s aggressive foreign policy has created trouble for India. In the first week of January, the Chinese daily ‘Global Times’ reported that the Asian giant had deployed its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles ‘DF-41’, with a range of over 1,000km, in Heilongjiang Province bordering Russia. Although senior spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying denied the report, India has decided to get prepared for countering its aggressive neighbour.
Soon after China’s newly-formed Rocket Force held an exercise with advanced DF-16 missile that could threaten a number countries, including India, Japan and the US, India and Britain have announced that they jointly developed a combat ready aircraft that will be on offer to neighbouring countries. However, India is yet to disclose whether it has any plans to counter the growing Chinese penetration of the defence market in the region.

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