India Purchases $3 Billion Worth Emergency Weapons, Ammunition: Report

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:59 AM, January 19, 2017
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India Purchases $3 Billion Worth Emergency Weapons, Ammunition: Report
Indian T-90 Bhishma Tank

India has purchased more than $3 billion worth emergency weapons and ammunitions and other military equipments from Israel and Russia.

Deliveries have begun even as new orders are still being placed, The Huffington Post reported Wednesday.

India purchased a few thousand anti-tank guided missiles, many T-90 tank engines and major spare parts. The T-90 is the mainstay battle tank of Indian army.

From Russia, India also bought multi-barrel rocket launchers that operate with the artillery against advancing columns and soft skinned targets, and large quantity of various kinds of ammunition.

Similarly from Israel, India is buying sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles and several thousand missiles, mainly for the Indian Navy.

India is increasing the stocks of Indian army as well as Navy through purchases of high explosive bombs, protective armour for troop-carrying vehicles and tanks, and anti-personnel grenade launchers, among other things.

Top officials in the government confirmed that two separate teams of an "empowered committee" led by senior officials moved to Russia and Israel towards the close of 2016 to make these "off-the-shelf purchases" a procedure of buying resorted to only when there is an emergency.

Empowered committees can take on-the-spot decisions to buy and negotiate prices, cutting down lengthy negotiation processes.

Much of the equipment that India decided to buy is now on its way. They are being airlifted in special flights from various ports in Russia and Israel to India.

The situation across the border and the aggressive maneuvering by the Pakistan military after the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by the Indian Special Forces are the reasons for the emergency purchases, a senior military officials added.

"The emergency purchases are aimed at replenishing and maintaining a minimum level of preparedness for any eventuality," another senior official at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat had said that level of "hollowness" in the Indian Army" in case of a two-front war is of concern."

A two-front war is a situation where India will have to engage Pakistan and China simultaneously. He went on to add that the military was comfortably stocked to handle the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has also given more financial powers to the military to buy critical equipment, he said.

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