BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – The Indian government approved a deal to buy 33 Russian combat aircraft and modernize 59 others, to boost its air power in light of the tension on the border with China.
“The purchase of 21 MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi-30 fighters will cost 181.48 billion rupees ($2.43 billion),” the Indian Ministry of Defense said.
They added, “The purchase of the aircraft will be in addition to the modernization of 59 other MiG-29s, an attempt to meet the Air Force’s need to increase the squadrons of its combat aircraft.”
More than half of the Indian military hardware is of Russian origin, but in the past 10 years, New Delhi has turned to the United States and Israel to purchase additional weapons.
Tension between India and China hit its highest level in years, following a clash last month in a disputed section of the border in the western Himalayas, which killed 20 Indian soldiers.