India has come a long way since it first gained freedom on August 15, 1947 from the colonial rule. In this 65 year long journey, it has witnessed advancement in almost every field with Defence being the eye candy.
Our heart swells with pride when we say that the Indian Army is the third largest in the world with the number one tag going to the US followed by China.
Today, India possesses a swarm of air assets, submarines and fighter aircrafts which add to India’s Defence might. The Indian Armed forces - be it Army, Navy or the Air Force - protect the vast land, water and aerial borders. They have upheld the country’s honour in times of need and will keep performing their duty with undaunted courage and valour.
India possesses a swarm of air assets as well as missiles which add to India’s mighty defence system.
With Agni 1, Agni II, Agni III and Agni IV already in its flotilla, India on 19 April 2012, test fired Agni V which is an intercontinental ballistic missile. Designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the three-stage missile has a strike range of 5,000 km.
The surface-to-surface missile Agni-V can be launched from land-based mobile platform and has the capability of hitting multiple targets.
It is expected that Agni-V will be operational by 2014 to 2015 after four to five repeatable tests by the DRDO.
BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile which has the capability to be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between India`s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia`s NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.
Indian Navy and the Army have already inducted the BrahMos missiles and work is being done to develop an air-launched version of the missile to be equipped on the SU-30MKI aircraft.
Prithvi is a surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile developed by DRDO. It is hailed as India’s first indigenously developed ballistic missile.
At present two versions of Prithvi are in service which includes:
Prithvi I: It is the Army version of the missile.
Prithvi-II: It is the Air Force version of the missile.
However, the third version- Prithvi-III, which has a 350 km range and a 1,000 kg payload, is currently under development.
Akash is a surface-to-air missile which has a strike range of 25 km. Akash, an anti-aircraft defence system, could hold several targets concurrently with the radar namely ‘Rajendra’.
It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
INS Vikramaditya is the re-christened former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. It has been recently procured by India and is a modified Type 1143 Kiev class aircraft carrier.
India signed a deal with Russia for the sale of INS Vikramaditya ship on January 20, 2004. It is projected to replace India’s only currently serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
Russia is expected to hand over the INS Vikramaditya to India by latest 2012.
Shivalik class frigate
The Indian Navy further strengthened its surface combatants’ armada with the introduction of the stealth frigate INS Sahyadri. At present work of 3 Shivalik class project 17 frigates is being done while for future order, a further seven Shivalik class project 17A frigates are in line.
Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft
The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), as the name suggests is a fifth-generation fighter being jointly developed by India and Russia. The Russian version of the aircraft will be a single-seater, whereas the Indian version will be a twin seater.
India is expected to shell over $25 billion to induct 166 PAK FA and 48 FGFA advanced stealth fighter aircraft.
In a bid to add more teeth to its armor might, India is upbeat to induct Rafale. The Dassault Rafale is a French fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. It is also known as ‘Ominrole’ fighter.
It is designed to excel in all sorts of mission be it in air, ground or sea conditions, with equal dexterity and accuracy.
Rafale is considered as one of the most modern fighter aircraft in the world today.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is an air superiority fighter aircraft. Russia’s Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) have jointly developed it.
The Indian Air Force has 190 Su-30MKIs in service as of January 2012.
The HAL Tejas is a lightweight multirole fighter developed by India. The idea of HAL Tejas was conceived in order to phase out India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. The LCA has been designed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which is based in Bangalore.
According to the Director General of the DRDO VK Saraswat, HAL Tejas is to be inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2012.
Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules is the most advanced airlifter ever built. The C-130J has a judicious blend of latest in aerospace expertise and an excellent design, providing greater operational competence to the operator.
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a military aircraft at present being developed in order to help the United States Navy (USN). The P-8I is likely to replace the Indian Navy fleet of Russian-origin Tu-142 and Il-38 aircraft for marine investigation functions.
Indian Navy has 8 aircraft on order with deliveries beginning in 2013.
T 90 tanks
The T-90 is a modernisation of the T-72 tanks. It is the Russian third-generation main battle tank which is the most modern tank currently in service with the Russian Ground Forces and Naval Infantry.
The various models of T90 are:
T-90 model: It is the original production model
T-90K: It is the command version of the T-90
T-90E: It is the export version of T-90 MBT etc.
Bofors 40 mm gun
Designed by the Swedish defence firm Bofors Defence, Bofors 40 mm gun is an anti-aircraft autocannon. It has a range of over 35 kms in the high-altitude terrain.
It was extensively used by the Indian Army during the Kargil war to win the battle against Pakistan.
In order to strengthen its maritime security and thereby competing with its neighbour China, India plans to induct INS Arihant, an indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine. It weighs 6,000 tonne and is built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.
With the launch of INS Arihant, India will enter the elite club of US, Russia, China, France and the UK who have similar capabilities.
Navy chief Admiral Nirmal recently said that `Indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant will be soon launched for sea trials as part of efforts towards completing India`s nuclear triad and achieve a credible and invulnerable retaliatory strike capability`.
Apart from this, the Indian Navy has also inducted a Russian-origin nuclear submarine, INS Chakra, into its fleet, giving its underwater combat capabilities much-needed muscle.