India Asks Arms Makers to Be Ready to Produce at Short Notice as Tensions with Pakistan Heat Up

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR, INDIA - OCTOBER 11 : Indian army soldiers look towards the building where the suspected rebels have taken refuge during a gun battle in Pampore, on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Rebels holed up in a building in the Indian portion of …
Faisal Khan/Anadolu Agency/Getty

India has asked domestic arms manufacturers and other military industrial companies to be ready to boost production of weapons, ammunition, and spare parts for warplanes at a moment’s notice, reports The India Times.

According to the India Times, India at the moment may not be ready to fight a full-blown war with Pakistan beyond a few days due to a shortage of military supplies and near depleted war reserves.

“In particular, the defense ministry is looking at small arms and ammunition and spare parts and weapons for the Sukhoi and Mirage fighter fleets on a priority basis,” notes ET.

The news outlet points out that the Indian military is vulnerable to facing critical shortages, particularly in ammunition and small arms, in just a few days if a full-scale war were to break out.

“Successive years of dipping into war reserves to raise new military units on the China border have led to depleted stocks that in some cases may not even last four days in case of a full blown conflict along the [Pakistan] border,” notes ET.

Nevertheless, Firstpost reports that it is not in the best interest of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to start a war with his neighbor India.

The news agency acknowledges:

There is a strong economic rationale for Pakistan to live on good terms with its neighbor and not escalate tensions with the Modi government. Engaging in a full-fledged war with India that could deeply damage its already-fragile economy will result in the exacerbation of deeper socio-economic issues of poverty and unemployment.

That being said, India appears to be taking no chances.

Indian PM Modi’s administration has sent officials to assess the capability to meet immediate requirements of the armed forces if necessary, government officials and top company executives told The India Times.

“Weapon suppliers, including some with the biggest businesses in India, have been contacted to convey that, if need be, contracts for additional arms could be placed on an immediate basis,” reports The India Times.

“The government wants a realistic estimate of the industry’s ability to deliver on a short notice; to upscale current production and to meet urgent orders,” a top defense executive told news outlet.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan have been clashing along the border that separates their respective portion of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir.

India’s Finance minister Arun Jaitley suggested there could be an increase in the defense budget to meet security needs a day before the Sept. 29 “surgical strikes” New Delhi launched against four camps in Pakistan-held Kashmir.

“In India, in addition to all the global events which leave an impact on us, we also have the security challenge. The security challenge involves an element of uncertainty. It also involves a lot of national resources being diverted in that direction and it will always get top priority,” Jaitley declared at a banking conference.

While India claims the Sept. 29 strikes killed 38 terrorists, Pakistan alleges that the attack specifically targeted its army, killing two soldiers and wounding nine others.

The strikes appeared to be have been launched in retaliation for a September 18 attack by militants allegedly backed by Pakistan who targeted an Indian army base in Kashmir that killed at least 18 soldiers and marked the deadliest attack on the Indian army in the last 14 years

Tensions between the two countries have worsened since. Both have repeatedly exchanged fire across the Line of Control (LoC), which refers to a heavily militarized and mountainous frontier that divides the sections of Kashmir controlled by India and Pakistan.


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