The Indian government is reportedly working on a mega project to spend a whopping $130 billion to strengthen the defence capability of the armed forces in the next five to seven years, according to reports.
New Delhi is working on a comprehensive plan to accelerate up the modernisation of the defence forces including Army, Navy and the Air Force with a range of cutting-edge weapons like missiles, fighter jets, submarines and warships etc.
The report by TNN / TOI states that the Modi Government said its 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 northern and western borders.
Sources said the government is aware of China aggressively 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 air defence system.
The missile, with a strike range of 5,000 km, is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Very few countries, including the US, China, Russia, France and North Korea, 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.