Thursday, July 8, 2010

Indian Plans to Bolster Its Army, Air Force and Navy to Counter China’s Rising Military Prowess

For too long Delhi’s policymakers have watched idly as China’s military prowess has grown, says Nitin Gokhale. Not anymore. India is now mid-way through raising two mountain divisions for the north-eastern border area with China. The goal is to plug existing gaps in India’s preparedness along the Arunachal Pradesh-China frontier, and the two divisions, consisting of about 20,000 well-armed troops, will include a squadron of India’s armoured spearhead—Soviet-built T-90 tanks and a regiment of artillery.The Indian Air Force has over the past year deployed 36 Su-30MKI, its most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft, to Tezpur in the country’s north-east in response to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s seven airbases in Tibet and southern China.

Indian Navy is working to build and acquire new, varied and potent platforms including an aircraft carrier, nuclear submarines, stealth frigates and long-range maritime reconnaissance planes. But the most surprising revelation to many analysts was India’s public admission that it was inducting a Russian Akula-class Type 971 nuclear submarine into its forces, in addition to an indigenously designed and built submarine, earlier called the advanced technology vessel but now officially named the INS Arihant (The Destroyer). India has announced in May that India will go one step further by testing the 5,000-kilometre range, nuclear-capable Agni IV missile in 2011. 

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