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

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid