India- China tensions: Allies help India muscle up for a hostile neighbourhood
As Indian troops remain dug in at Ladakh in a prolonged standoff with China, allies are pitching in with commitments to deliver urgently needed weapons and ammunition for the armed forces.
France has promised to deliver additional Rafale jets next month. The first set of the fighter jets – equipped with the world’s best long-range air-to-air missiles – is expected to reach India by July 27. As per the initial plan, four fighters will reach the home base at Ambala next month. A total of eight aircraft are nearing certification.
Israel – a key defence supplier – is expected to deliver a much-needed air defence system that will be deployed along the border. The yet-to-be-named air defence system is likely to come from the current holdings of the Israeli defence forces and would supplement the Ladakh sector. This would be useful as the Chinese side is said to have deployed its newly acquired S-400 air defence system in the sector as well.
Precision artillery rounds will be sent by the US - India’s newest strategic partner. America has already been helping out with vital intelligence and satellite imagery that give military planners clarity on the border situation.
Russia, India’s largest defence supplier, will make early deliveries of ammunition and weapons worth $1 billion. Given that most land-based systems such as tanks and armoured carriers are of Russian origin, India is looking for a variety of ammunition that will be required in the event of a larger conflict. The air force is looking for urgent supply of air-dropped bombs and missiles while the army requires anti-tank missiles and man-portable air defence systems for the border. (Representative Image)