OpThe Indian Armed Forces combined are regarded as the fourth strongest in the world after the US, Russia and China. Considering the fact that both the US and Russia were very advanced militarily ever since the Cold War, and that China is way ahead of India economically, India has done reasonably well to attain the place it has. Yet, a great deal still needs to be done.
India is the fifth largest military spender in the world and the biggest importer of arms and ammunition. With the ‘Make in India’ program, India is now rising as a producer and even an exporter of weapons.
Following are ten of the deadliest weapons with the Indian Armed Forces –
- T-90 Bhishma – Bhishma is the Indian name for Russian-made T-90s tanks. These tanks are an amalgamation of T-80U and T-72B and have superior fire control system and mobility. The tanks are fitted with the most advanced jamming systems, laser warning receivers, day and night sighting system, and 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun with thermal capabilities. These tanks can even cross water obstacles as deep as 5 meters. India has purchased 700 of these from Russia, and 347 more will be built in India. Once this is done, India will have the largest force of modernized tanks in South Asia.
- Phalcon AWACS –AWACS stands for Airborne Early Warning and Control System. They are used to detect aircraft, ships and vehicles at long ranges. The IAF has 3 in active service – the A-50 Phalcon AWACS consists of Israeli Elta EL/W-2090 radar mounted on a Russian Il-76 aircraft. These AWACS act as control centers that guide fighter-interceptors and tactical air force in battle areas, and can detect targets up to 400 km away. They are also fitted with aerial refuelling systems and electronic warfare equipment as well.
- INC Chakra –The real name of this Russian-made nuclear submarine is Nerpa. It is the only Indian nuclear warhead-carrying submarine which can remain underwater for as long as the Navy wants it to. INS Chakra has 36 torpedoes and Klub anti-ship missiles, possesses almost zero noise levels, and can accommodate 80 personnel. India invested over $900 million in the development of Chakra in return for which Russia leased it to Indian Navy for 10 years.
- Sukhoi SU-30MKI –This fighter jet is the backbone of the Indian Air Force. If this jet is excluded, the rest are 4th-generation capable. A single unit costs Rs 358 crore. It is a super-manoeuvrable twinjet air superiority fighter developed by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It was developed from the SU-30MK, and the ‘I’ in the name stands for India after it was modified to fit Indian war needs. It can load up to 8 tons of weapons, and soon it will be getting fitted with BrahMos and Nirbhay cruise missiles. With 314 aircrafts on order, India is the largest Su-30 operator in the world.
- BrahMos –The BrahMos is the world’s fastest cruise missile and travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0. BrahMos is a league apart because when compared to missiles of the same category, it has 3 times more velocity, 3 times more flight range, 4 times more seeker range and 9 times more kinetic range.The accuracy of the missile is said to be 1 metre. The current production of the missile is said to be 100 missiles per year.It’s air-launched variant was successfully test fired by India that makes India the only country with supersonic cruise missiles in their army, navy, and air force.
- INS Visakhapatnam – INS Visakhapatnam is India’s most powerful and advanced stealth destroyer ship. It will be christened as an Indian Naval Ship in July 2018. The 163-meter-long and 7,300-tonne ship will have eight supersonic BrahMos anti-ship missiles, 32 Barak-8 long range surface-to-air missiles, Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar System and twin tube torpedo and rocket launchers. It will also be the only Indian warship with ‘Total Atmosphere Control System’ which will enable the crew onboard to function without any life support system in regions of nuclear, chemical or biological fall out.
- PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System – DRDO has launched the BMD Defense system. BMD system can take down any ballistic missile launched from 5,000 kilometres away. BMD consists of 2 interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile for lower altitude interception. PAD can take down 300 to 2,000 km class of ballistic missiles at a speed of Mach 5. India is only the fourth country in the world to successfully deploya ballistic missile defence system. If put to use at the same time, PAD and ADD can achieve up to 99.8 percent take-down accuracy.
- Pinaka MBRL –The Pinaka MBRLS (multiple barrel rocket launch system) is produced in India by the DRDO. Pinaka can fire up to 12 missiles/rockets in 44 seconds with a reload time of as short as 4 minutes. A single launch system fitted on an 8×8 Tatra truck is loaded with 12 rockets which have a range between 40 km to 65 km. Pinaka makes use of the very advanced inertial navigation system (INS) which uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to calculate the position, orientation, and direction of a moving object. Pinaka is capable of working in different modes namely autonomous mode, stand-alone mode, remote mode and manual mode. DRDO is also working on fitting GPS guidance systems on the rockets, and developing missiles with a range of 120 km.
- INS Vikramaditya –This aircraft carrier is the symbol of supremacy for the Indian Navy. This 45,000-kilo sea monster can carry up to 24 MiG-29K fighters and 6 ASW/AEW helicopters. INS Vikramaditya is fitted with sensor suites that keep it from being tracked by airborne radar systems. It was bought from Russia on 20 January 2004 at price of $2.35 billion, and on 14 June 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inducted INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy.
- NAG –NAG is a ‘fire-and-forget’ anti-tank missile developed by the DRDO at a cost of $3 billion. Often reckoned as world’s only anti-tank missile which has a complete fiberglass structure, NAG weighs 42 kg, and can engage targets at a distance of 4 to 5 km at a flight speed of 230 metres per second using infrared imaging system. NAMICA is the NAG missile carrier which is capable of carrying 12 missiles with 8 of them in ready-to-fire mode.