India’s Deadly Shopping Spree

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http://India%20grabbed%20global%20headlines%20on%20April%2019%20by%20announcing%20the%20successful%20test%20of%20a%20missile%20capable%20of%20carrying%20a%20nuclear%20warhead%20as%20far%20as%20Beijing.%20Those%20not%20paying%20attention%20might%20be%20surprised%20by%20this%20display%20of%20military%20might%20--%20India%20has%20now%20joined%20the%20U.N.%20Security%20Council%20permanent%20members%20and%20Israel%20in%20the%20small%20club%20of%20nations%20who%20can%20launch%20an%20inter-continental%20nuclear%20weapon%20--%20but%20as%20%20FP's%20Joshua%20E.%20Keating%20pointed%20out%20in%202011's%20"Stories%20You%20Missed,"%20the%20country's%20military%20build-up%20has%20been%20rapidly%20accelerating%20as%20of%20late.%20As%20he%20noted,%20%20a%202011%20report%20by%20arms%20watchdog%20organization%20SIPRI%20%20said%20that%20India%20accounts%20for%209%20percent%20of%20%20international%20arms%20transfers%20from%20%202006%20to%202010,%20and%20will%20spend%20up%20to%20$80%20billion%20on%20%20military%20modernization%20efforts%20by%202015.%20%20%20%20%20%20The%20Indian%20government%20has%20expressed%20strong%20commitment%20to%20%20investments%20in%20long-term%20military%20capabilities,%20with%20a%20steady%202.5%20to%203%20percent%20%20of%20its%20GDP%20used%20on%20defense%20spending.%20As%20a%20result,%20the%20country's%20defense%20budget%20%20has%20increased%20%2064%20percent%20since%202001.%20Here%20are%20just%20a%20few%20of%20the%20%20items%20on%20India's%20military%20shopping%20list.

India grabbed global headlines on April 19 by announcing the successful test of a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as Beijing. Those not paying attention might be surprised by this display of military might -- India has now joined the U.N. Security Council permanent members and Israel in the small club of nations who can launch an inter-continental nuclear weapon -- but as FP's Joshua E. Keating pointed out in 2011's "Stories You Missed," the country's military build-up has been rapidly accelerating as of late. As he noted, a 2011 report by arms watchdog organization SIPRI said that India accounts for 9 percent of international arms transfers from 2006 to 2010, and will spend up to $80 billion on military modernization efforts by 2015.

The Indian government has expressed strong commitment to investments in long-term military capabilities, with a steady 2.5 to 3 percent of its GDP used on defense spending. As a result, the country's defense budget has increased 64 percent since 2001. Here are just a few of the items on India's military shopping list.

http://India%20has%20also%20focused%20on%20increasing%20its%20sea%20power.%20The%20country%20plans%20to%20spend%20almost%20$45%20billion%20%20over%20the%20next%2020%20years%20on%20its%20navy,%20building%20103%20new%20warships,%20destroyers,%20and%20nuclear%20%20submarines.

India has also focused on increasing its sea power. The country plans to spend almost $45 billion over the next 20 years on its navy, building 103 new warships, destroyers, and nuclear submarines.

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India is currently constructing a new aircraft carrier, which is sceduled to hit the seas in 2014. Above, Sea Harrier aircraft prepare to take off from the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, 30 miles off the coast of Mumbai, during an operational demonstration as a precursor to the President's Fleet Review on November 14, 2011.

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India's naval focus makes sense not only in context of the ever-present military competition with its western neighbor, Pakistan. Defense of sea lanes and key shipping routes is a priority over the coming years and China has taken note of India's plans. Last August, a Chinese warship found an Indian amphibious assault ship near the coast of Vietnam and confronted it, prompting an internatinoal diplomatic incident. The situation didn't escalate into combat, but it was a sign of an increasingly militarized Asian seascape.

http://With%20over%201,129,900%20active%20personnel,%20the%20Indian%20Army%20is%20the%20world's%20largest%20standing%20volunteer%20army.%20Following%20Indian%20independence%20in%201947,%20it%20adopted%20most%20of%20its%20current%20infrastructure%20from%20the%20British%20Indian%20Army.%20Although%20India's%20constitution%20mandates%20compulsory%20service,%20it%20has%20never%20been%20strictly%20imposed.%20The%20army%20has%20been%20heavily%20involved%20in%20U.N.%20peacekeeping%20operations%20around%20the%20world.

With over 1,129,900 active personnel, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army. Following Indian independence in 1947, it adopted most of its current infrastructure from the British Indian Army. Although India's constitution mandates compulsory service, it has never been strictly imposed. The army has been heavily involved in U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world.

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