Indian Defence Forces To Be Modernized Over Next 5 Years With Rs 910000 Crores
• Under the modernisation plan, critical weapons, missiles, fighter jets, submarines and warships will be procured in the next few years
• “The government will spend $130 billion for fleet modernisation in the next 5-7 years across all armed forces,” as per an official document
• The government is also working on a mega project to make the airspace over major cities impregnable
As India faces complex security threats, the government has firmed up a mega plan to spend Rs 910000 crores ($130 billion) to bolster combat capability of the armed forces in the next five to seven years.
Official sources said the government has decided on a broad plan to speed up modernisation of the Army, Navy and the Air Force under which a range of critical weapons, missiles, fighter jets, submarines and warships will be procured in the next few years.
They said the government’s immediate priority is to fast-track infantry modernisation, including procuring 2,600 infantry combat vehicles and 1,700 future ready combat vehicles for the Indian Army.
Another key priority is to procure 110 multirole fighter aircraft for the IAF.
“The government will spend $130 billion for fleet modernisation in the next 5-7 years across all armed forces,” the official document stated.
The armed forces have been pushing for adequate allocation of funds so that they are well prepared to deal with the possibility of a “two-front” war on both North Eastern and North western Theatres.
Sources said 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.
To bolster its operational capability, the Navy has already finalised a plan to have 200 ships, 500 aircraft and 24 attack submarines in the next 3-4 years. At present, the Navy has around 132 ships, 220 aircraft and 15 submarines.
The sources said the government is also determined to significantly enhance IAF’s overall combat capabilities and a detailed plan is being finalised.
The government is also working on a mega defence project to make the airspace over almost all its major cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, virtually impregnable, the sources said.
It is also inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system — Agni V — which is expected to significantly bolster the country’s strategic defence system.
The missile, with a strike range of nearly 8,000 km, is capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to any part of China. Very few countries, namely the US, China, Russia France and UK have intercontinental ballistic missiles.
In its missile armoury, India currently 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.
The sources said the government’s focus will be to develop the domestic defence industry and key policy initiatives are expected to be rolled out for it in the next couple of months.