India expands geopolitical footprint to counter China’s strategic threat

Special to

Compiled by Miles Yu,

India is rapidly becoming a formidable military power that will have major geopolitical influence not only in South Asia but also in reshaping the global military balance.

Indian Air Force Su-30MKI.

New Delhi will host a major summit at the end of March involving the so-called BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This further highlights India’s growing international stature, which is accompanied by a rapid increase in military strength.

India has become the world’s largest arms-importing nation, with a multi-billion dollar annual purchasing appetite, a 7 to 8 percent increase of its annual defense budget over the last 10 years, and a large recruitment campaign that will dramatically increase its active service personnel.

India’s strong governmental determination has resulted in obtaining capabilities to manufacture indigenous next-generation fighter planes, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, aircraft carriers and its own intercontinental ballistic missiles.

India recently paid $1 billion to lease a Russian advanced SSBN for 10 years while its own SSBN is scheduled to launch soon. Within a month, India will test fire its first ICBM — the 3,400 mile-range Agni-V — from Wheeler Island in the southern Indian Ocean.

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