India to focus on military development over the next five years; India raises Gorshkov issue with Russia
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  • (December 12-18, 2011)

    According to reports, India will spend heavily over the next five years on developing military infrastructure and capabilities for the western and eastern fronts to defend unresolved borders against two potentially hostile nuclear-armed neighbours. Defence Minister A K Antony on December 12 gave figures for the planned development of military infrastructure, with new fighter bases, helipads, bunkers, forward ammunition dumps and the like, to strategically counter China and Pakistan. Responding to queries on major projects of Military Engineer Services (MES) in Lok Sabha, the Minister pegged the planned ``development'' of Army infrastructure and ``improvement'' of IAF infrastructure in the north-east at Rs 7,374 crore and Rs 1,753 crore, respectively. Similarly, capability development along the northern borders will cost Rs 24,312 crore, while upgrade of storage facility for ammunition will come for Rs 18,450 crore. Construction of suitable habitat for soldiers deployed in high-altitude areas like Kargil, Siachen-Saltoro Ridge and Ladakh, which includes insulation, dome and fibre-glass based shelters, will cost another Rs 6,000 crore1

    In another development, according to reports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during the 12th Indo-Russian Summit talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin, raised the issue of delay in the delivery of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy and emphasized that it was important for India that the ship arrives in time. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters that both India and Russia were clear that they would take necessary action to ensure there was "no slippages" in the delivery of the aircraft carrier which will be rechristened 'INS Vikramaditya'. 2