As India’s economic clout grows, so does its military presence in the region & even around the world. The military expansion & modernisation that was needed was not a priority of the Congress government. Major defence deals weren’t undertaken for the fear of corruption; it’s like not eating food because of the fear food poisoning.

General Ved Prakash Malik who was the COAS during the Kargil War, wrote in his book ‘Kargil: From Surprise to Victory’& I quote – ‘It is my belief that ten years after the Kargil War, India’s deterrence capability stands further eroded.’And we know that after 2004 it was Congress that ruled the country. But this has changed, & massively. The Narendra Modi-led government is undertaking extravagant defence manufacturing & procurement measures.

Here we review India’s 6 biggest military achievements under Prime Minister Narendra Modi –

  • Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Agni-V –

India successfully tested the ICBM Agni-V. The missile has a range of over 5,000 km & can cover even the northernmost parts of China. This is seen as a massive shot-in-the-arm in India’s nuclear capability.

  • Rafale Deal –

The deal to purchase 36 Rafale Jets from France was finally completed in September. The cost of the jets is a mind-boggling 7.78 billion pounds. This deal will raise India’s air prowess well above that of Pakistan’s, & bring India closer to matching China’s. The jets are equipped with latest weapons including the 150 km range beyond the visual range missile ‘Meteor’, & can also carry nuclear bombs.

  • Apache Attack Helicopters –

The deal for purchasing 22 Apache Helicopters will give immense strength & flexibility to the IAF. It is regarded as the world’s most superior attack helicopter.

  • Nuclear Submarine INS Arihant –

The induction of the indigenously developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant is crucial in tackling China’s ever-rising dominance in the seas.

  • LCA Tejas –

The indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was inducted into the air force as well.

  • M777 Light Weight Howitzers –

The deal to purchase these howitzers was the first to be made since the one to buy the Bofors guns in the 1980s (that too was a scam-ridden deal). These M777 Howitzers are perfect for India as India’s warfare extensively involves mountainous terrains. The Army plans to deploy these on the Indo-China border.

Some of the other important deals signed or decisions taken were –

  • Purchase of S400 Triumf air defence system from Russia
  • India & Russia may soon start work on a 5th generation fighter jet
  • Deal to purchase 15 heavy lift Chinook helicopters
  • Logistics agreement with the United States

It is clear that the government has given impetus to all arms of the armed forces. It is working to raise deterrence, & at the same time working on its strengths & moving toward attaining on-land invincibility especially when it comes to Pakistan. 2016 can surely be said to be one of the best years for the Indian Armed Forces!

Vinayak Jain