New Delhi: The Indian government has planned to spend a whopping sum of $130 billion to speed up the modernisation of the Army, Navy and the Air Force in the next five to seven years, revealed an official document.
“The government will spend $130 billion for fleet modernisation in the next 5-7 years across all armed forces,” the official document stated. This decision was taken keeping in mind the complex security threats that the country faces.
The estimated sum of money will be used by the government in procuring a range of critical weapons, missiles, fighter jets, submarines, and warships in the next few years, stated official sources. Notably, the immediate priority of the government is to procure 2,600 infantry combat vehicles and 1,700 future-ready combat vehicles for the Indian Army and 110 multirole fighter aircraft for the IAF.
The armed forces of the country have already been requesting for adequate allocation of funds in order to prepare ahead of a possible ‘two-front’ war on both the northern and western borders of India.
Sources said the government is aware of China significantly ramping up its air and naval powers, adding the aim is to equip both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy with capabilities at par with its adversaries.
The Indian Navy has planned to procure 200 ships, 500 aircraft and 24 attack submarines in the next 3-4 years so as to bolster its operational capability. Currently, the Navy has around 132 ships, 220 aircraft and 15 submarines.
With regard to the airforce, a mega defence project is underway with the mission to make the airspace over almost all the major cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, virtually impregnable, according to sources. Besides, for the first time, the government is inducting a batch for Agni V, the intercontinental ballistic missile system. With a strike range of 5,000 km, Agni V is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Notably, India already has Agni-1 with a 700-km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000-km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500-km to more than 3,500-km range in its missile armoury.
Therefore the primary focus of the government will be to develop the domestic defence industry. In view of this, some of the key policy initiatives will be rolled out in the next couple of months, stated sources.