India is Pumping It's Arms


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Source:Rediff News


India was the leading buyer of conventional arms among developing nations in 2004, says a United States Congressional Research Service report.

Last year, India entered into agreements with arms manufacturers across the globe to buy weapons worth $5.7 billion, ahead of China. But New Delhi's defence expenditure for 2004-2005 was pegged at 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product, much lower than Beijing's 6 percent and Islamabad's 5.5 percent.

The CRS report says since 1997, India has been the developing world's leading arms buyer. During the last eight years, the country has entered into arms transfer agreements totalling $15.7 billion. That is 10.3 percent of all arms transfer agreements in the developing world.

Last year, the Pakistan embassy in Washington prepared a brief called Phenomenal Increase in Indian Defence Budget.

'The massive Indian defence spending has its implications for Pakistan's national security,' the brief said. 'It fits in with the Indian aggressive posture towards Pakistan and its policy of non-dialogue. While India has been sharply increasing its defence expenditure, Pakistan's defence budget during the last three years has remained almost static with considerable decrease in real terms.'


In the year 2004-2005, the first budget the Manmohan Singh government presented had set apart the biggest-ever allocation for defence: Rs 770 billion (about $17 billion). It was an increase of 27 percent over the Rs 653 billion (about $14.5 billion) that the previous Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had allocated for defence.

About 44 percent of the defence outlay went for the purchase of weapon systems. So, just what did New Delhi shop for with that whopping budget?

Admiral Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya)
Bill: $1.5 billion


On January 20, 2004, India and Russia signed an agreement for acquiring the massive Russian aircraft carrier. The 44,570-ton aircraft carrier is expected to join service by around 2009. Besides being fully modernised, the carrier would have 12 MiG-29K fighter aircraft, four MiG-29KUB training jets, six to eight Kamov-28 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B helicopters. It will join the INS Viraat as India's second aircraft carrier, and wait for another few years for India's indigenously built new carrier to join in. Around Gorshkov, the Indian Navy wants to build a robust fleet, ready for the turbulence of 21st century seas.

Advanced Jet Trainers
Bill: $1.8 billion


The Indian Air Force is acquiring 66 Hawk advanced jet trainers for training its fighter pilots for transition from sub-sonic aircraft to supersonic fighters.

Israeli arms
Bill: $1.7 billion


On March 5, 2004, India and Israel signed an agreement for the supply of three Phalcon systems, which were earlier denied to China under US pressure. This eye in the sky will provide India real-time surveillance of the sky in a radius of about 100 km, as well as moving command and control centres in the sky. One of the greatest force multipliers, Phalcon would make the Indian Air Force several notches superior to Pakistan, and provides it a strategic edge over even the Chinese.

According to Israeli defence ministry's figures, India is the number one customer of Israeli-manufactured arms. In 2004, new contracts were signed between the Indian defence ministry and Israeli companies to the tune of $1.7 billion. Of this, $1.1 billion came from India's purchase of three early warning Phalcon planes from Israel Aicraft Industries and its subsidiary Elta Electronics.

India also bought fighting equipment and systems from Israeli firms to the tune of $500 million.

And more...

New Delhi is currently negotiating some big-ticket arms deals. The defence ministry has already fine-tuned proposals to acquire French killer class Scorpene submarines and 125 multi-purpose fighters for the IAF to replace its aging Mig-21 aircraft.

In fact, of the Indian Army's 3,414 tanks, 1,200 are of the World War II era and 700 are vintage Russian T-55s. India has been introducing T-90s from Russia in phases, and a lot of money has to go into this.

India continues to buy in a major way from Russia, while it continues to build on its relations with Israel, and West European powers. The US, which is the largest supplier of arms to developing nations, is increasingly making a feverish pitch to tap the market in India.

I think India and Israel would make good Allies.

Also, if I was them I wouldn't get rid of the WWII era tanks I would keep them for infantry support and use them in the assault gun role, so you don't have to divert the newer tanks from the tank divisions.

Source:BBC News

India's navy in $1.8bn sub deal

India is to bolster its navy with the purchase of six Franco-Spanish submarines in a deal worth $1.8bn (£985m, 1.4bn euros).

The announcement came as India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met France's President Jacques Chirac in Paris.

India plans to build six diesel-powered Scorpene SSK-class submarines at a naval dockyard in Mumbai (Bombay).

The deal is the latest in a series of military purchases by Delhi aimed at modernising India's armed forces.

In a joint declaration, the sides also said they would "work towards the conclusion of an agreement on bilateral co-operation in the nuclear field".

No further details were given, but India is known to want to reduce its dependency on oil.

'Measure of trust'

India is currently the developing world's leading buyer of military equipment, according to a report for the US Congress.

Delhi spent $5.7bn on arms last year, taking it past China and Saudi Arabia, the Congressional Research Service said in August.

President Chirac welcomed the deal, describing it as "a measure of the friendship, trust and cooperation" between India and France.

On Friday, the Chilean navy took delivery of the first of two Scorpene submarines developed by naval defence firms DCN of France and Navantia of Spain.

The submarine deal follows the announcement last week of India Airlines' plan to buy 43 Airbus passenger jets in a deal worth $2.2bn.

Speaking at the time, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the purchase was a "welcome sign" of developing relations between India and the European Union.

I can't help but agree with u there gladius - unless they cost more to keep than they're worth having on the battlefield they should be kept to help support infantry - unless of course they have no place on the modern battlefield and there is nobody who can really drive them.


gladius said:
Also, if I was them I wouldn't get rid of the WWII era tanks I would keep them for infantry support and use them in the assault gun role, so you don't have to divert the newer tanks from the tank divisions.

Here is the List and approx numbers of each Active Main Battle Tanks India has :

  • T-90S MBT : 310 ( Deal is of 800 tanks by 2008 )
  • ARJUN MK.I MBT : 124


  • Tank-Ex : ?

  • T-72 Ajeya MBT ( Upgraded T-72 ) : 1700


  • Vijayanta MBT : 400


  • T-55 MBT : 300 to 400
  • PT-76 : 100

T-55 and Vijayanta needs to be Scraped soon .......... the Phasing out of phased out the venerable Vijayanta MBT has already begun ........... Army is to sold around 800 Vijayanta tanks as 'scrap' iron in the first phase....... i think T-55 and Vijayanta have lived their lives ........

India is working on 2 Projects Tank-Ex and ARJUN MK.I and a deal have been Struck with russia to Provide 800 T-90 Tanks ........Now these Older tanks have to make way for these new ones ........ keeping the older tanks could mean too many Tanks in the Armory that mean too much cost of maintaning the older ones and Cost of acquiring the newer tanks also adds to it .

gladius said:
I think India and Israel would make good Allies.

Also, if I was them I wouldn't get rid of the WWII era tanks I would keep them for infantry support and use them in the assault gun role, so you don't have to divert the newer tanks from the tank divisions.

Yes. The Israeli's used the Easy Eight and many other American and allied tanks in the 73' War.