India’s Allies to Fast-Track Weapons Shipment

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:07 PM, June 29, 2020
  • 2416
India’s Allies to Fast-Track Weapons Shipment
French Rafale combat jet

With Indian and Chinese troops having locked horns at the border, India’s allies have offered to speed up deliveries of crucial weapons such as fighters and air defense systems.

France will ship four to six Rafale omnirole fighters armed with Meteor air-to-air and Scalp cruise missiles by the end of July. Although Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots were to ferry four of these advanced jets on July 27, France has now promised to send additional aircraft in the first batch. Paris has also committed to deploy its tanker aircraft to ensure the jets reach the country with a single hop, Economic Times reported Monday.

In all, eight Rafale jets are nearing certification. It is unclear how many of them will be sent to secure India’s borders next month.

India’s Allies to Fast-Track Weapons Shipment
Iron Dome

Russia, India’s largest arms supplier, has pledged quick shipment of $1 billion worth of weapons including ammunition, missiles, air-dropped bombs, anti-tank missiles and man-portable air defense systems per New Delhi’s request.

Israel has also extended its helping hand by accelerating deliveries of an unnamed air defense system already in service with its forces. The Israeli military currently use Arrow (Hetz) system, Iron Dome and David’s Sling. The Arrow system is the first operational missile defense system specifically designed and built to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles. The Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4-70km away and the David’s Sling strikes medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, fired at ranges from 40-300 km according to reports.

India’s Allies to Fast-Track Weapons Shipment
Indian Army test firing M982 Excalibur artillery projectiles from M777 155 mm 39-caliber howitzer in December 2019.

Vital intelligence and satellite imagery are being provided to the Indian military by the United States. “The US has invited India to share a list of all requirements with a commitment to be of assistance at the earliest,” sources were quoted as saying by the report.

Washington is providing additional Excalibur artillery rounds under the emergency route. The precision attack rounds with a range of over 40 km are used in a variety of artillery guns in the Indian inventory such as the M777s.

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