Indian Military Capabilities, Where Govt Needs to Spend ?

October 17, 2016 · Author: · Category: / 

India is among the top-five nations in the world in terms of military capability on most parameters. As per SIPRI, its defence spending was US$51bn in 2015, the sixth highest but significantly lower than the top-two globally with
the USA at US$596bn and China at US$215bn.

In terms of land systems, India has the fourth-highest number of heavy battle-ready tanks after Russia, China and the USA. At 1.3m, India’s active military personnel is the third highest in the world, while China has the highest number of active military personnel at 2.4m. India also has good missile capability with Prithvi missiles, for short-range (less than 600km) surface-to-surface attacks; Agni missiles, for long-range (up to 8,000km) surface-to-surface attacks; Akash and Trishul missiles, for surface-to-air attacks; and Dhanush missiles, for sea-to-sea and sea-to-surface attacks. Also, Brahmos missiles are cruise missiles with a range of 300km that can be launched from land, air or ship.

India has a total of 295 naval ships, which include aircraft carriers, frigates, corvettes and submarines. However, it has two aircraft carriers versus China’s one. This is part of India’s attempts to be battle ready on the two waterfronts of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. More importantly, India is one of only six countries that possess nuclear submarines, which are important in war times as they can remain under water for months since they are powered by nuclear energy. INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear submarine has cleared trials but is yet to be included in the fleet.

India’s air force has the world’s fourth-highest number of aircraft at 2,100. This includes 809 attack aircraft. Its major fighter aircraft is the Sukhoi Su- 30MKI developed by Russia’s Sukhoi. It will include the Dassault Rafale once delivery commences from 2019. Other aircraft are the Mirage 2000, MIG-29, HAL Tejas (developed in India), MIG-27 and Jaguar.

Where Indian Govt Needs to Spend ?
India’s defence preparedness has suffered over the past decade under the Congress regime or so, owing to several factors, most glaring of which is the lack of requisite equipment. As China and Pakistan have continued to increase their defence spending, India has been compelled to raise its budget. China’s phenomenal economic growth has led to its defence expenditure posting a robust 17% Cagr over the past 10 years. India and Pakistan have seen their defence expenditure record a more modest 8% Cagr over the same period.

As China and Pakistan have continued to increase their defence spending, India has been compelled to raise its budget. China’s phenomenal economic growth has led to its defence expenditure posting a robust 17% Cagr over the past 10 years. India and Pakistan have seen their defence expenditure record a more modest 8% Cagr over the same period.

The air force only has 33 fighter squadrons when at least 42 are required should there be an escalation of hostilities on both the Pakistan and China borders. Airborne warnings and control systems are also inadequate. While finalisation of the Rafale acquisition deal with France has brought some cheer, delivery will only begin from 2019 and, more importantly, is insufficient to fight a war at two fronts, which could be the case for India.

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