India is rapidly upgrading its defense capabilities with 93 military modernization projects worth $18.4 billion currently in progress, according to a report by The Times of India.
Some of the ongoing projects focus on longer-range weapons, multi-purpose drones, night-fighting capabilities, disruptive technologies, and early warning and detection systems.
As part of the initiative, the Indian military will soon induct high-volume firepower that includes a mix of artillery guns, upgraded Pinaka rocket regiments, longer-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, and loitering munitions.
The country could also have runway-independent unmanned aircraft systems and enhanced surveillance and weapon-locating capabilities once the projects are complete.
The military has already inducted 110 of 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers ordered from the US, with the rest to be delivered over the next five months.
“The aim was to make up for operational deficiencies, even as the re-balancing of additional forces to the northern borders and infrastructure upgrade was fast-tracked to counter the China threat,” a military source told the Indian English-language news site.
More Military Equipment Coming
India’s increased investment in high-powered weapons and equipment comes amidst a 20-month standoff with China on its border in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian armed forces have received their first batch of 70,000 AK 203 assault rifles from Russia. The service intends to procure 670,000 rifles, with the remaining 600,000 to be manufactured in India under a joint venture.
The Indian government is also expected to order 200 new K-9 Vajra (Thunder) 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzers for $1.5 billion under a joint project with Larsen & Toubro and South Korea’s Hanwha Defence.
In addition to rifles and self-propelled howitzers, the country plans to acquire “future-ready mechanized platforms” with advanced weapons, enhanced night-fighting and cross-country capabilities to survive deserts and mountainous terrain.
Around 1,750 of these futuristic infantry combat vehicles and 1,770 advanced main-battle tanks will be acquired for the armed forces.