India is planning a large-scale purchase of drones for its 1.2 million-strong army to boost surveillance capability along its volatile borders with neighboring Pakistan and China.
The drones would enable units on the border to carry out a 24-hour watch against threats, Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said in New Delhi on Saturday. He didn’t provide details.
The government plans to spend $250 billion over 10 years until 2025 on military modernization to meet challenges from Pakistan and China. India has fought three major wars with Pakistan in the last seven decades and a small-scale battle at Kargil in 1999. A war against China in 1962 ended in defeat.
The Indian Army, which currently operates more than 150 Israeli spy drones, is pursuing a tender initiated in late 2017 for the purchase of 600 unmanned aerial vehicles. India is also seeking to buy US-made armed drones in a separate procurement programme.