With India’s nuclear Triad surely but silently taking shape and devastating weapons and technologies raining from major world powers, days are over for Ballistic China or Nuclear Pakistan to browbeat India. Humphrey Hauxley’s “Dragonfire” no longer threatens the strategic planners.
So India, like its Mars orbiter is soaring on the strategic index.
Lucrative business opportunities in this recession-ridden world and India’s neutral status have nudged the U.S., Russia, Israel, France and even Japan to jump into the Indian defense market for a big slice of the pie.
Pakistan has already lost the race and has given up the missile marathon .China is extremely nervous at the enriching arsenal of India.
The U.S.A, realizing the futility of its containment policies, has begun to shed its earlier inhibitions of selling sensitive technologies to India. Its offer of not only selling the deadly ATGM, Javelin but also to co-produce and co-develop the advanced version of the ATGM proves this. The technological marvels- C-17 Globe trotter and C-130 Hercules have already joined the IAF.Besides India and the U.S. are close to negotiation for a large number of Apache attack helicopters and the heavy-lift Chinooks.
The refurbished aircraft-career from Russia (INS Vikramaditya) has increased the reach and potency of the Indian Navy. The Brahmos Supersonic cruise missile program has become a grand success .Several variant of the missile –land, ship, air and submarine- are being developed. Talks are on for an advanced version of the missile with even nuclear capabilities. India’s frontline fighters will be equipped with the air-launched version of the missile. The steep dive capability of the block II version has given a lethal weapon to India in mountain warfare .Several batteries have been deployed on Indo-Tibet border to deter China. Russia has completed the design of the FGFA for India. It is likely to be linked with the Glonass navigation system of Russia.
France with its fighters and submarines has become another valuable source of defense tech for India. The Rafale aircraft, considered to be the best plane by the French air chief will be an asset for India. The rigorous evaluation procedure has proved the aircraft’s worth. No country has complained about the quality of the aircraft which took part in combat missions in Libya and Afghanistan .It will certainly increase the confidence of the force.
Israel which has benefitted most in homeland security and defense has provided India with several electronic eyes like Green Pine Radar, synthetic aperture radar on satellite and night vision devices and several cameras mounted on UAVs and provided India with Phalcon AWACS .India’s long range surface to air missile project with Israel, though likely to face delay, will be a valuable weapon for India.
Furthermore the world famous anti-rocket system IRON DOME has attracted India too. Iron Dome can be an useful device in mountain warfare with China.
Rapidly militarizing Japan has offered India the world famous sea-plane US 2 or Shinmaywa.They are likely to be jointly produced in India too. This may be a symbolic venture which could pave way for several joint projects in defense .The extended range as well as its capability as an amphibions vehicle may help India immensely in its naval warfare and rescue and search operations.
Silver linings:-Added to all these positives, is the fact that India is silently, steadily and successfully building up its nuclear triad .Recently Jane’s reported India’s nuclear overdrive for building warheads and its coming closer to China. Several underwater missiles are being tested with the possibility of a 3500km missile being able to hit China from INS Arihant. Furthermore a 5000km missile is also likely to be tested and inducted.
The existing Agni 5 is undergoing several technology additions with a capability to launch multiple nuclear war heads. Consequently, the whole of China, including the northernmost city of Harbin is under Agni 5 range. India is building anti-ship ballistic missile to target China’s aircraft carriers which will join the Chinese navy in future. It is claimed to be superior to China’s anti- ship ballistic missile which is supposed to target US aircraft carriers.
India’s decision to build two more missile test ranges at Andaman & Hyderabad proves the determination of the country to continue and expand its missile research and development.
The simultaneous integration of G3 (GPS of the US, Glonass of Russia and Gagan of India) with Brahmos has perhaps been a first in the world which will increase the precision of the already devastating supersonic and in future hypersonic missiles.
India’s software prowess will be used for network centric warfare in which all assets will be interlinked.
The success of anti-ballistic missile program has already given India anti- satellite war-fare capability.
Recent approval of 49% FDI in defense by Modi government may prove to be a revolutionary decision comparable only to the economic liberalization of the 90s .It can strengthen domestic industrial, base ,create employment and invite newest and latest technologies .
There are numerous opportunities too. India should participate in the joint projects of Britain and France like building UCAVs. Stealth technologies should be adapted to helicopters and tanks.
So it is the ingenuity and foresightedness of the Indian defense planners that India, the only country surrounded by two nuclear powers has emerged victorious in building a blue water navy and a versatile missile force. So Pakistan has lost the race and China is under pressure.
But challenges remain. Shedding Asian entanglements, India has to be a world power. Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine conflict .Russia –Ukraine imbroglio ,the ISIS barbarism in Iraq, etc. call for def t planning for India’s interest. But for the moment Pakistan has lost & China’s string of Pearls has been torn .So India march ahead to Moon ,Mars and the Sun!