India to buy guns worth $553m for border troops


NEW DELHI: India will buy more than 160,000 guns worth $553 million for troops on its disputed, high-altitude borders, the defence ministry said Tuesday. The defence acquisition council cleared the purchase of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for 35 billion rupees ($553 million) in a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The weapons will be bought to “enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders,” the ministry said in a statement. New Delhi has signed several big-ticket defence deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in 2014. India — the world´s largest defence importer — has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing territorial disputes with its nuclear-armed neighbours China and Pakistan. India and China fought a brief war in 1962 over their border and last year were involved in a months-long showdown over a disputed Himalayan plateau. India is also mired in conflict in the Himalayan region of occupied Kashmir where roughly 500,000 soldiers are deployed.