Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/23/2012 -- BMI's India Defence & Security Report for Q312 examines the country's strategic position in the Asian region and the wider world. It also provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future.
This quarter's report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report's general conclusion is that there are two sides to the Indian defence story. On the one hand, India remains the world's largest importer of weaponry, and is moving ahead with the procurement of some highly advanced systems. On the other hand, structural weaknesses within the Indian defence bureaucracy means that procurement programmes remain prone to lengthy delays and overspend, while the local defence industry continues to underperform.
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The report also places India's military modernisation efforts in the context of its geopolitical relations with China, Pakistan and the United States in particular. It notes that relations with all three countries are currently good by historical standards. It also discusses the growing tension between the government and the military, with questions being raised about the preparedness of the army in particular.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- The progress of several procurement programmes, accelerated in response to criticism from the Indian Army chief, is detailed in the latest report. There is also an overview of other procurement decisions reached in Q212, including the abandonment of plans to have six new diesel-electric submarines constructed by a private Indian shipyard.
- The approval of new offset guidelines designed to encourage greater technology transfer and also of the 15-year Long Term Integrated Perspective Planning framework is analysed.
- Relations with the US are discussed in the light of inaugural counter-terrorism drills and the embarrassing revelation on the part of the US Pacific Commander that US special forces are operating on Indian soil.
- The test-firing of the new Agni V intermediate range ballistic missile, and its implications for Sino-Indian relations, is discussed. The missile puts China's large eastern cities within range of Indian nuclear weapons for the first time.
- A possible opening in talks with Pakistan - specifically, the proposed demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier - is also detailed.
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