India Buys 33 Fighters from Russia

  • The deal will further enhance the technical and military capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
  • India is currently awaiting the first shipment of 36 Rafale-style fighter jets from France.
  • India has become the world's second-most populous country and now the world's largest arms importer.

According to reports received from New Delhi on Thursday, India’s Ministry of Defense agreed to purchase 33 new Russian fighter jets and upgrade 59 others. The military pact between New Delhi and Moscow is worth $2.45 billion, according to the Defense Ministry. India is facing security challenges due to its borders with China and Pakistan.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. As of 2013 the MiG-29 was still in production by Mikoyan, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) since 2006.

The deal will further enhance the technical and military capabilities of the Indian Air Force. In addition, the Indian Air Force already has 59 Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets and 272 Sukhoi-style fighter jets to defend India’s airspace.

New Missile Systems

The Ministry of Defense in New Delhi has also said that the government has approved the development of in-country missile systems for all three branches of the armed forces. The missile system will be used by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

In addition, such modern ammunition will be manufactured domestically, which will further improve the combat capabilities of the combat units of the Indian Army.

Waiting for French Fighters

India is currently awaiting the first shipment of 36 Rafale-style fighter jets from France. The deal was struck in 2016 between New Delhi and Paris. The purchase will be part of a broader French-Indian defense deal, valued at about $8.8 billion. The Indian government hopes that the first batch of four to six of the three dozen Rafale fighter jets will be handed over to the Indian Air Force later this month.

India World’s Largest Arms Importer

Sovereignty over two relatively large and several smaller separated pieces of territory has been contested between China and India. Aksai Chin is located either in the Indian union territory of Ladakh or the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. The other disputed territory lies south of the McMahon Line.

In South Asia, both Pakistan and India are neighbors, as well as traditional rivals and nuclear powers. Another neighbor of India, China, is also a major nuclear power. Against this backdrop, New Delhi continues to modernize its armed forces.

Most of the weapons and ammunition in the hands of the Indian Armed Forces date back to the old Soviet Union. This is also an important reason why arms manufacturers and institutions around the world are keeping their eyes on New Delhi and its defense policy. India is spending so much money on modernizing its armed forces that it has become the world’s second-most populous country and now the world’s largest arms importer.

There are no signs of easing tensions over the border dispute between India and China in eastern Ladakh, while the movement of troops from India is increasing day by day. Military convoys are constantly moving towards Ladakh, and the movement of warplanes is also increasing.

The local administration in Kashmir directed the authorities to stockpile LPG gas cylinders for the next two months. On the other hand, all public and private schools in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir have been directed to remain empty. Locals say such instructions have never come before and have caused panic among the people.

In areas such as the Gulwan and Depsing Valley in eastern Ladakh, India has dramatically increased its military over the past two weeks, according to the Chinese military presence in the area.

A leading English-language newspaper in India quoted government sources as saying that India had decided to continue diplomatic and military talks with China, but was ready for a military response whenever and wherever needed.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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