NEW DELHI: India has strengthened its military power along its border with arch-rival Pakistan by deploying its Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and other weapons amid a rising number of ceasefire violations.
India’s Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday revealed that the country has beefed up security by deploying troops and weapons such as Sig Sauer assault rifles and Spike anti-tank missiles along the Line of Control (LoC), its de facto border with Pakistan in the Kashmir region.
Stating that Pakistan is trying to push terrorists in India from their camps and staging grounds, the Indian army chief claimed that most of the terrorist infiltration attempts have been foiled, reported foreign media.
The army general also emphasised the improved condition in Kashmir, saying grenade attacks, gunfire and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks by terrorists have seen a marked decline in the last six months.
The Israeli-Made Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile was procured by India as an emergency purchase against the backdrop of escalation with Pakistan in February 2019 after the Balakot airstrike.
Meanwhile, India has signed a deal with Israel in a joint venture to develop military drones for India’s armed forces. India’s military is seeking to expand its use of drones for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance. The state-funded Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s Elbit System to jointly develop rotary military drones. HAL claimed deploying a rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will bring down the huge cost associated with operating and maintaining manned helicopters.
The Indian aviation giant said on Wednesday: “It will also benefit the Indian Armed Forces in deploying a UAV for a routine surveillance mission or operating in unsafe areas both during day and night, which otherwise would have to be carried out by manned helicopters.”
Indian defence ministry official Apurva Chandra is in charge of the acquisition. He said: “It may also open up new business avenues for HAL culminating in both domestic and export orders.” Mr Apurva claimed the partnership will benefit the two firms in terms of technology, manufacturing, marketing and maintenance.