India's military strength on the rise

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India has successfully test-fired an "Agni II" surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of one ton. The missile, equipped with solid fuel engines, has a range of 2,000 km. According to Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the launch once again proved that India has a reliable deterrent. As one of the world's largest arms-importing countries, India's weapons and equipment replacement program have been designed in response to armed conflict with Pakistan and to contend with increasingly military powerful China. For Russia, the consolidation of India's military forces goes hand-in-hand with Russia's strategic interests.

India's self-developed 'Fearless' domestic subsonic medium-range cruise missile looks like the U.S. 'Tomahawk' cruise missile.

India's self-developed "Fearless" domestic subsonic medium-range cruise missile looks like the U.S. "Tomahawk" cruise missile. 

As The Economist pointed out, the overall strength of the Indian armed forces is rapidly increasing. In the last five years, India had imported most arms in the world. For a long time, Russia has been India's main weapon supplier. According to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India purchased weapons and equipment worth a total of $ 17.3 billion from Russia from 2007 to 2011. Additionally, India is in negotiations with French Dassault to buy 126 Rafale fighters, worth a total amount of over 12 billion dollars.

In terms of army-size, the total strength of the Indian Army in Asia comes next to China's. India's defense budget has reached $ 46.8 billion. Experts predicted that by 2020, India's defense spending would catch up with the United Kingdom, France and Japan. In the construction of nuclear power, India has 80 or more nuclear weapons, and the number is likely to increase further. As to the country's power in terms of nuclear weapons, India's surface-to-surface missiles appear able to cover the whole territory of Pakistan and most parts of China.

New Delhi believes that instability in Pakistan and the world's second-largest economy China, are most likely to pose a threat to India's security. From a geopolitical point of view, China undoubtedly catches the Indian leaders' attention. As Indian Defense Minister Antony had declared in 2009, "India's major threat is not Pakistan, but China."

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