India Approves $3.5 Billion in Arms Purchases Amid Chinese Border Tensions
The recent military talks between the two neighbors which sought to defuse border tensions ended in a stalemate, with the two sides promising to maintain the status quo in contested areas of the Ladakh sector. Meanwhile, China has activated all of its air defense systems with increased jet sorties near the border.
The Indian Defense Ministry has approved over $3.5 billion to boost the operational capabilities of the armed forces amid lingering border tensions with China.
On Tuesday, the Defense Acquisition Council - the apex capital procurement body - accepted the necessity for procuring bulletproof jackets, thousands of carbines, engine upgrade for destroyers and swarm drones.
"In the recent conflicts across the world, drone technology proved to be a force multiplier in military operations. Accordingly, to augment the Indian Army's capability in modern warfare, acceptance of necessity for procurement of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms has been accorded," the ministry said.
Swarm drones can target enemy ground forces, including troops, vehicles, and command and control links. The Indian Army aims to deploy them by targeting up to 50km away.
The ministry also approved 400,000 close-quarter battle carbines induction for the services to "combat the current complex paradigm of conventional and hybrid warfare and counter-terrorism at the Line of Actual Control and Eastern Borders."
The Indian Army prefers 5.56Ã—45 mm carbines in some of its recent procurement held under the Ministry of Defense's Fast Track Procedure. The weapons are expected to weigh less than 3.3 kg.
Facing stiff competition from the Chinese Navy, the government has also allowed the Indian Navy to procure an upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generator for power generation on board Kolkata-class destroyers.
India and China remain at loggerheads over a two-year-old border dispute that escalated into a violent clash in June 2020, killing 20 Indian soldiers and 4 People's Liberation Army troops.
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