With the Modi government successfully getting through its 5 years of awe-inspiring tenure, its undisputable reverence for the nation and the defence forces in these past years have been totally enthralling. The axiomatic call of duty rooted in a soldier has always been respected by this Government and given utmost importance. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has, time and again, articulated his unflinching support to the Indian forces through not only his words but through his prompt actions, that speak volumes about his intent.
Recently, a Twitter user, Harsh (@NorthernCavalry), shared a thread highlighting Modi Government’s attainment on the security sphere, especially insofar as it concerns the defence forces, which will definitely serve as an eye-opener to few and a tough reminder to many who have for all these years chosen to ignore facts.
Finally coming up with a thread on Military modernization during past 4.5 years of NDA-2 covering all “major” developments. People have short memories and they often ask: what did the government do? To refresh your memory or to introduce you with something you ignore here it is:
— Harsh (@NorthernCavalry) January 22, 2019
The first link shared reminds the populace of a nearly $3 billion deal signed last year, between India and American aviation giant Boeing and the US government for the purchase of 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers. The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that the contract, which will have a 30 per cent offset clause, would bring in business worth about USD 1 billion for the Indian defence industry.
The 22 Apache AH 64D Longbow helicopters are one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, featuring all-weather and night-fighting features, ability to track up to 128 targets in less than a minute and engage with 16, besides stealth characteristics, advanced sensors and beyond visual range missiles. This would give a big boost to the defence system of the country.
Similarly, in the first ever artillery gun’s deal struck after the Bofors scandal, India last year got into a nearly Rs 5,000 crore deal for 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers with the US, which will be mostly deployed near the borders with China. While 25 guns will come to India in a fly-away condition, the rest will be assembled at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system in India in partnership with Mahindra.
The first two howitzers will be delivered within six months of the contract being inked, while the rest will be delivered at the rate of two per month.
The howitzers that can be heli-lifted were first proposed to be bought from BAE about 10 years back.
Under Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, India in the last 4.5 years has saved nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore of foreign exchange. In November last year, the Indian government, after years in suspense, concluded a deal with the BAE Systems-Mahindra partnership to build M777 ultra-light guns in India.
With the first lot of the of the 100 K9, VAJRA-T tracked, self-propelled artillery gun being delivered to the Indian Army within the next 11 months this would be a milestone considering that this would be the quickest procurement or a major weapon system for the Indian military ever.
Korean Minister MYoung-Jin had described the gun deal as a milestone which would provide “momentum to Make in India and the strategic defence cooperation between the two countries”.
The much argued Rafale jets, which is likely to be a game changer in South Asia was finalised, finally under the NDA rule.
Similarly, after nine years of long wait the army soldiers, under the Modi government are all set to receive 1.86 lakh bullet-proof jackets worth Rs 639 crore. Not only this but Indian Army, under Modi governance, has finally got bullet-proof helmets, after an over two-decade wait.
A total of 1 lakh 58 thousand bullet-proof helmets will be provided to the Indian Army over a span of three years, 7500 of which have already been delivered. As a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Indian company MKU Systems is manufacturing these bullet-proof helmets at its Kanpur facility.
The Modi government ‘reworking on the 30-year diesel-electric submarine-building plan, which had not yet been implemented, cleared the indigenous construction of seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered attack submarines which is considered a major step towards building a formidable blue-water Navy for the future.
In the latest, the Indian soldiers along the Line of Control are set to get deadly new sniper rifles, including an anti-material rifle that can go through concrete and metal objects, such as vehicles. The procurement process is expected to be completed this month.
Amongst other things under its Make in India initiative, Tata with US planemaker Lockheed Martin will make F-16 in India. Sweden’s Saab will partner with Adani group for manufacturing in India. Samsung Techwin partner with L&T for a joint venture that has begged $750 Million order for 100 self-propelled Howitzers. Approximately 50% of this order will be made in India in Maharashtra.
Moreover, Reliance defence has made two naval patrol vessels. Vessels will be remotely controlled through an electronic fire control system. They made it in just 3–4 year. They are named as Shachi and Shruti NOPVs.
Advanced indigenous weapons like BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and Astra beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile have been indigenously integrated and fired from aircraft.
Therefore it would be totally justified to say that with the advent of the Narendra Modi Government, issues faced by the Indian Army have become a major area of concern which was not such under other leadership. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, modernisation of the Armed Forces has been fast-tracked and critical defence deficiencies in weapons and infrastructure are being met, creating a robust climate for the Indian defence system.