The Indian government recently approved more than 16 billion USD to build advanced naval warships as well as nuclear-powered submarines. A major spender on defense, India is the world’s largest weapons importer. The South Asian nation depends on foreign countries, particularly Russia and the US, for most of its military gear. The reliance on imports reflects the inability of the country’s armaments manufacturers to make state-of-art equipment that meets the requirements of the nation’s armed forces. But since taking over in May last year, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has barely hidden his desire to change the state of affairs. In a bid to kickstart the moribund domestic defense industry, the Modi administration has raised the foreign investment cap to 49 percent, and encouraged multinational arms companies to set shop and “Make in India.” The decision to build naval vessels and submarines in India is seen as part of the administration’s plan to ramp up the nation’s domestic defense industrial base. Furthermore, the move is also viewed as an attempt by India to bolster its naval defenses, as the country’s leaders seem increasingly concerned about China’s expanding naval presence in the Indian Ocean region. In this context, DW talks to… Read full this story
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