News / Asia

    India Increasing Defense Spending as Economy Grows

    Assorted military guns are on display at India's defense show in New Delhi, 15 Feb 2010
    Assorted military guns are on display at India's defense show in New Delhi, 15 Feb 2010

    Multimedia

    India is expected to spend $100 billion in the next decade on its military.  The South Asian nation is believed to be the world's largest buyer of weaponry, and there is an intense competition among foreign arms merchants for a slice of that market.  The key players have gathered in New Delhi for the four-day India Defense Exhibition.

    India Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony says he expects military spending, currently 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, to substantially increase as the nation's robust economy continues to grow.

    That is welcome news at this biennial defense show for the dozens of countries pitching their armaments and other military equipment to India's armed forces.

    But the defense minister cautions India's ultimate goal is self-reliance.

    "We want to produce equipment for the armed forces internally, domestically. We want to strengthen our defense industries in India. India needs a strong defense industrial base," he declared.

    That has the international defense industry scrambling to find Indian partners. For the time being, foreign entities are still the source of 70 percent of India's military acquisitions. Russia remains the top supplier but has slipped since the end of the Soviet era.

    The Israeli exhibit at India's defense show, New Delhi. 15 Feb 2010
    The Israeli exhibit at India's defense show, New Delhi. 15 Feb 2010

    Israel - which has the biggest amount of floor space at this year's defense exhibition - is now number two and believed to be supplying most of India's advanced weapons systems.  

    The United States - which has the most companies exhibiting at the expo - is hoping to increase its share, pitching everything from handheld tactical field radios to naval warships.

    Mark Kronenberg is a vice president in the defense systems division of U.S. aerospace giant Boeing.

    "There's been increasing cooperation between India and the United States from both the defense side and security side," he said.  "More importantly, from the Boeing perspective, it's not just about increased presence on the military side - we've always had a strong commercial presence here - we think with Indian suppliers and partnerships we can be here for a long time to come," said Kronenberg.

    Boeing is among several companies competing to replace India's aging fleet of Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jets with a newer system.  India is expected to choose a supplier in the first half of next year.  The purchase of 126 jets is potentially worth $11 billion.

    Since gaining independence in 1947, India has had several military confrontations with neighboring Pakistan and fought a one-month war against China in 1962. Neither Pakistan nor China was invited to participate in this year's India Defense Exhibition.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora