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Modi’s Big Bad Defense Shopping List

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Submitted by admin on Sat, 10/10/2015 - 06:16


India is the biggest roller in the global arms trade. The country is the world's largest arms importer and has inked over 18 defense deals with US, Russia, Israel, Germany, France and Britain in 2014-15. Its defense spending is expected to touch US$80 billion by 2015. At this pace analysts expect India to spend over $250 billion over the next decade. This lucrative market is attracting more and more western manufacturers who are fighting defense budget cuts back home.
Over the years more than 60% of the army's budget has been spent on salary, leaving a mere 40% margin for new defense equipment. Both theAir Force and the Navy has been hit by delays in manufacture, upgrade and acquisition. Not to mention the chain of accidents that took out several INS vessels. India's current defense minister Manohar Parrikar, 58, wants to fast-track some of the biggest defense deals in the history of the Indian Army. Not only because it's big money we're talking about, but because the country's outdated artillery is in dire need of an upgrade.
The Modi government has already cleared a $8 billion plan to build India's most advanced warships. They've already ordered new submarines to stay at par with the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean.
Make Weapons in India:
The Modi government is already promoting 'Make in India' with the Association of Defence Companies in India, an alliance of leading companies like Boeing, Punj Llyod, Augusta Westland, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, Saab, Northrop Gruman, Rolta, BAE Systems, Dassault, Honeywell, Thales and the likes.
This forum would allow these companies to comment on key policy matters pertaining to the government, armed forces and state-run enterprises that affect their operations.
Mind, India's Tata group and Europe's Airbus have already jointly made a bid after FDI (foreign direct investment) rules were eased this August.
The big bad guns:
Here are some of the biggest deals the Modi government may fast-track or dump:

· The $19.5 billion deal of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) from France's Dassault Aviation. This ended up as a 36-jet deal. Later, as the IAF urged the government to clear 44 additional fighter jets, the government turned down the request.
· Six sub-marines that are expected to be built by Indian defense firms for an eye watering $8 billion.
· The $6.5 billion helicopter deal that includes 440 helicopters for all three services. The majority of these are planned to be manufactured in India.Boeing among others would supply the rest.
· The $4.74 billion deal that includes new defense equipment including four marine spy aircrafts from Boeing and hundreds of air defense guns. The costliest order approved was for 428 L-70 and ZU23 air defense guns.
The hits:

Image credit: Atimes
The biggest defense contract signed in the first 16 months of the NDA government is undoubtedly that of Boeing's Apache and Chinook helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The deal for 22 Apache attack and 15 heavy lift Chinook helicopters is worth around $2.5 billion.

The misses:

Image credit: Military World
India's largest defense deal worth a whopping $20 billion may be scrapped after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France this April. The new deal to buy 36 'ready-to-fly' Rafale fighter jets from Dassault may see the former multi-billion-dollar deal scrapped.