Despite Reform Pledge, India’s Military Modernization Lags Under Modi

Visitors crowd around a French Rafale fighter jet on display during the last day of the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base, Bangalore, India, Feb. 10, 2013 (AP photo by Aijaz Rahi).
Visitors crowd around a French Rafale fighter jet on display during the last day of the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base, Bangalore, India, Feb. 10, 2013 (AP photo by Aijaz Rahi).

The victory by Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance in the Indian elections of May 2014 seemed to herald the start of a new era for India’s defense establishment. The new government came to power vowing to strengthen the Indian armed forces and reform the country’s jumbled and sluggish approach to defense acquisition. Such promises were music to the ears of Indian military planners charged with preparing for various conflict scenarios, including the possibility—however unlikely—of a two-front war versus neighboring rivals China and Pakistan. Under the new approach laid out by Modi’s government, the military modernization process was supposed to be […]

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