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India, the second most populous nation in the world, is in the midst of a $100-billion defense upgrade program. India cleared proposals worth nearly $3.5 billion in June. In the last half of 2014, $19 billion in military procurement was approved.

India, the second most populous nation in the world, is in the midst of a $100-billion defense upgrade program. India cleared proposals worth nearly $3.5 billion in June. In the last half of 2014, $19 billion in military procurement was approved.

India is the world's largest arms importer with the United States recently overtaking Russia as its biggest arms supplier.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has been pushing for greater indigenisation of the military industry as India imports around 70 percent of its defense hardware. It aims to slash defence imports by more than 50% and make India a net exporter of defence hardware. 

India is indigenously building six submarines for the Indian navy and purchasing 8,356 Israeli guided missiles as well as 12 Dornier aircraft.

Project 15B Destroyers will retain the same hull as 15A Kolkata-class destroyers, but there will be significant changes in the superstructure that will improve the ships stealth characteristics, It will incorporate a flush deck, include better sound and infrared suppression systems and more sophisticated weaponry such as : Nirbhay land-attack cruise missiles, hypersonic BrahMos-II anti-ship missiles and Barak 8-ER SAMs. They will also operate two helicopters, and are expected to displace approximately 8,000 tonnes at full displacement (500 tonnes more than 15A).

India will spend roughly $250 billion in the next decade procuring military hardware. It will upgrade its Soviet-era military and narrow the gap with China, which spends $120 billion a year on defence. 

Indian Prime Minister Modi boosted defence spending by 12 per cent to around $39 billion for the current fiscal year and approved plans to allow more foreign investment into local industry to jump-start production. 

In December, India and Russia signed deals worth $40 billion in nuclear energy, $50 billion in crude oil and gas and $10 billion in a host of other sectors, including defense, fertilizers, space, and diamonds.

All these deals are long-term in nature. For example, India and Russia agreed that Russia would be constructing 12 new nuclear reactors for India and India would soon be identifying a second site to host these plants, apart from Kudankulam in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Each of the new nuclear reactors will cost $3 billion apiece, triple the amount India spent on the two Kudankulam plant units which each cost just a billion dollars.

(By: Next Big Thing)

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