Indian Border Security Forces Takes to the Skies to Counter Terror
India has indicated that it is in the market for a more weaponized version of Russia's MI-17 helicopters; some of these will be earmarked for the defense of the country's borders.
New Delhi – India will obtain helicopters to buttress its Border Security Forces (BSF) to counter infiltration and respond quickly in any emergency along the border areas. Rajnath Singh, India's Minister for Home Affairs, chaired a high-level meeting which reviewed the functions of the Border Security Force (BSF) to discuss and expedite pending issues related to infrastructure development, the welfare of troops and various other border management issues.
"The issue of implementing a BSF Air Wing as a self-regulating establishment along the same lines as the Coast Guard has been flagged for discussion. Comments in this regard have been invited from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Defense and Coast Guard separately," reads a statement released by the country's Ministry of Home Affairs.
Earlier, highly placed Border Security Force (BSF) officials informed Sputnik of the necessity of purchasing more helicopters, such as the MI-17 V-5. These would complement its five existing MI-17 V-5 helicopters, which are controlled by the Air Force. India plans to buy additional helicopters from Russia; more than a dozen of these would be earmarked for use by the BSF.
India had already approved the purchase of 48 more Mi-17 V-5 medium lift helicopters. Discussions to conclude the final agreements for additional helicopters have entered an advanced stage. In February of this year, 151 MI-17 V-5 helicopters were delivered.
Apart from the subject of creating an independent air wing for the BSF, the participants of the meeting discussed the implementation of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management Solutions (CIBMS) using the latest technology. K. K. Sharma, Director General of the BSF, assured the Union Home Minister that the pilot project for CIBMS would be expedited.
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