Why 2016 can be called one of the best years for the Indian armed forces…No, its not because of surgical strike!

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