India has faced the consequences of the Sino-Indian war and it seems that India has learnt its lessons. Leaders calling a nation like China a ‘friend’ were too naïve, but PM Modi is not. The steps taken by him towards strengthening India’s defence sector is proof of that.
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PM Modi’s push to make India a defence superpower
India has seen drastic changes on all fronts after the BJP came to power in 2014, and one such sector is defence. The Modi government has done enormous work towards strengthening the defence sector.
The years under PM Narendra Modi’s administration have seen India’s military gain more muscle than it ever had in the past. The Modi government have strengthened the forces by providing them with adequate fighter aircraft, heavy artillery, anti-submarine aircraft amongst others.
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For a very long time, India had to depend on imports in order to fulfil its defence requirements. However, things have changed for good in the last 7-8 years of PM Modi’s regime. Indian armed forces are steadily becoming self-dependent. Under PM Modi’s flagship initiative several armaments and equipment are being manufactured indigenously.
Make in India: A game-changer in the defence sector
Recently, India gave a nod to the indigenous development of lighter tanks for mountain warfare. The need for lighter tanks was highly felt by India during the standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The in-principle approval of the development of lighter tanks came along with the Defence Ministry’s approval of nine defence projects. Four, including the light tank, come under the procedure’s Make-I, or “government-funded” project category, while the remaining five are under the Make-II, or “industry-funded” project category.
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Currently, private firm Larsen and Toubro was working with the DRDO to convert the tracked 155mm howitzer Vajra into a light tank. Russia had also offered its Sprut light tanks to the Indian Army and India is considering it.
Lighter Tanks: A need of the hour
Indian Army has been in need of lightweight tanks since time immemorial. But it has been on the top priority since 2020 due to the India- China standoff in Eastern Ladakh.
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During the Galwan clash, India had deployed heavy tanks like T-72 and T-90. However, India soon realized the need of adapting lightweight tanks. The deployment of traditional tanks poses a lot of problems. Not only do they have a high maintenance cost, but also pose a danger of getting stuck in marshy terrains. There also exists the issue of infrastructural and geographical limitations of the make and shift arrangements, in terms of the traditional tanks, when deployed in a clash against China.
However, with the development of indigenous lightweight tanks, the troubles will soon wither, and our forces will be ready in no time to lock horns with the enemy, should trouble arise.