ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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DEFFENCE-Bottomless Pit

DEFFENCE Bottomless Pit Gautam Navlakha THE agreement signed between General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) on January 19 for the licensed production in India of l.M WTPP marine gas turbine engines tor the Indian Navy is merely the latest in a series of agreements for enhancing the lethal power of the Indian armed forces. In December last India became the first country outside the Soviet bloc to receive the latest Soviet fighter aircraft, MIG 29. In this instance the government of India has decided not to go in for licensed production; instead, India will purchase altogether 50 such planes. Prior to this India bought two squadrons of combat helicopters which have shown their deadly efficacy against the Afghan nationalists. An extensive purchase list has been prepared for the Indian Navy and this includes an aircraft carrier, destroyers, cruisers, patrol boats, aircraft, helicopters, ammunition for them and, last but not the least, submarines. This, of course, docs not include the expansion of existing naval bases and construction of several new ones such as the Rs 1,800 erore allocated for the naval air base at Karwar in the Andamans. It also does not include the cost of building the southern air command at Madurai. In other words, the Indian armed forces are in the midst of a substantial and comprehensive updating of their arsenal and expansion of their lethal reach, something unprecedented during 'peace time'.

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