India is set to finalise a US$660 million (S$952 million) deal for mobile heavy artillery weapons — its third major gun purchase in the past year and a sign Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defence spending spree is far from over, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The deal, expected to be approved in a Cabinet decision in the coming days after extended commercial price negotiations, is a big win for Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), a major Indian infrastructure and engineering company which partnered with South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin to modify the howitzer for local conditions.
It is part of Mr Modi’s US$250 billion push to modernise the armed forces and overcome a 30-year lapse in its firepower procurement programme, as India prepares to counter potential threats from Pakistan and China.
…Artillery modernisation is long overdue, said Mr Anit Mukherjee, assistant professor in the South Asia Programme at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
“Once these are inducted, these will give significant capabilities to the Indian military, both in the mountains and on the plains.” After the Cabinet approves the deal, it could take two to four years before the weapons are delivered to India, he said.
Last updated on 05/01/2017