India to buy guns for border troops
India will buy more than 160,000 guns worth $553 million for troops on its disputed, high-altitude borders, the defence ministry said on 16 January.
The defence acquisition council cleared the purchase of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for INR 35 billion ($553 million) in a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The weapons will be bought to ‘enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders,’ the ministry said in a statement.
New Delhi has signed several big-ticket defence deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power in 2014.
India has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing territorial disputes with its nuclear-armed neighbours China and Pakistan.
India and China fought a brief war in 1962 over their border and last year they were involved in a months-long showdown over a disputed Himalayan plateau.
India is also mired in conflict in the Himalayan region of Kashmir where roughly 500,000 soldiers are deployed.
New Delhi accuses Islamabad of sending ‘terrorists’ across the border to fight security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.
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