Not long ago when Manohar Parrikar was the Defence Minister of India, there was a report that the country wanted to spend approximately $223 billion over the next decade to upgrade its military aptitude, thus adding the required fire power to stay battle-ready.
This decision was taken by the government in view of the outdated defence equipment, some of which are used even today. This, however, has not fared well for the country, as numerous soldiers died using faulty or outdated equipment.
Under the upgradation programme, the government had envisaged buying almost 500 helicopters, 12 submarines, nearly 100 single engine jet fighters and over 120 twin-engine fighter aircraft by 2027.
In April, there was a report that the country had signed billion-dollar deals for two separate contracts to buy advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems from Isreal and 155mm/52-calibre self-propelled artillery guns from South Korea.
The fifth largest military spender faces a slew of geopolitical threats from its neighbouring countries and the menace of terrorism. In view of this, here are some of the advanced military weapons India has already invested in:
MR-SAM surface-to-air missile: In April this year, India inked an approximately $2.5 billion dollar missile deal with Israel. The Barak 8, surface-to-air missile systems or Medium Range Surface to Air Defense Missile (MR-SAM) system, is being developed jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which will enable India to increase its prowess in ground-to-air combat.
It can be used proficiently against hostile aircraft. Believed to be the single-largest contract in Israel’s defence history, the MR-SAM will help the army to deal with aerial targets, ranging up to 70 Km.
Delivery of the first unit for deployment in the field is expected in 2023.
Guardian drones: In June this year, India inked a deal with the US for the delivery of 22 Guardian drones, costing more than two billion dollars. Several media reports indicate that India is purchasing the unarmed surveillance drones as it wants to keep better vigil over the India Ocean, with an aim to increase naval surveillance.
The Guardian Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is the naval variant of the Predator B drone. As per reports, it has a wingspan of 20 metres and is powered by Honeywell TPE331-10 power plant. It has a fuel capacity of approximately 1769 kilogrammes and can reach a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet. It can stay air-bound for a maximum of 27 hours.
It will be a valuable addition to the forces, as it will enable them to explore hostile territories to monitor activities and plan any mission accordingly.