India's military budget will increase by 13% in 2023-2024

Like its neighbours, the Indian military budget will experience a sharp increase, 13% according to the country's authorities, over the fiscal year 2023-2024, to respond to the evolution of threats and tensions with China and Pakistan.

If the Russian aggression against Ukraine has provoked the announcement of numerous increases in the defense budgets of European countries, other theaters in the world are also the subject of intense tensions, leading governments to significantly increase their respective defense efforts.

This is the case in the Western Pacific, while South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are engaged in a dynamic aimed at massively increasing their defense investments over time to control the threat posed by the conventional and strategic increases in power of the Chinese and North Korean armies.

This is also the case for India, which must simultaneously keep Chinese military power in check as New Delhi and Beijing face each other on the Himalayan plateaus, and deter Islamabad from starting a new Indo-Pakistani conflict as the Pakistani armies have been modernizing at a forced march over the past ten years, and that Islamabad and Beijing have built solid economic, political and military ties over the past 20 years, posing a redoubled threat to India.

To respond to this challenge, President Modi and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced a dramatic 13% increase in the defense budget in 2023-2024 to 5.93 lakh crore, or $72 billion.

This increase will make it possible to devote 1,62 lakh crore ($19 billion) to financing the acquisition of new equipment and infrastructure, an increase of 57% compared to the 2019-2020 budget, and 2,70 lakh crore for costs. operating expenses excluding salaries and R&D, including maintaining equipment in operational condition as well as the acquisition of spare parts.

The budget of the DRDO, the Indian defense innovation agency, will be increased by 9%, while support for defense industries will increase by 93%. These measures will make it possible, according to Rajnath Singh, to achieve in the years to come the $5 billion in industrial savings promised by the government within the framework of the Make in India program.

The Indian military budget will finance the acquisition of carrier-based fighters
Le Rafale M is considered the probable winner of the competition between it and the American Super Hornet to equip the new Indian aircraft carrier

It is true that the Indian armies will face considerable challenges in the years to come, requiring a significant increase in the means made available to them.

Thus, for the coming year alone, the Indian Navy will have to do the acquisition of the 26 embarked fighters intended to arm the new aircraft carrier INS Vikrant which entered service in September of last year, and probably to arbitrate as to the continuation of the Kalvari-class P75 submarine program or that of the P75i program, while several major ships, such as the Visakhapatnam-class P15B destroyers or the Nilgiri-class P17A frigates remain to be built, and the development of the new class of Project 18 destroyer has been launched.

For the air forces, it will be essential to carry out the complex arbitration concerning the replacement of the Jaguars and Mirage 2000s which are due to leave service at the end of the decade, but also concerning the reinforcement and modernization of the tanker aircraft fleet and advanced air watch.

As for the army, it must finance, among other things, the modernization of its armored forces, in particular the T-90S Bishma tanks ordered from Moscow in 2019 and the Arjun tanks of national invoice, as well as the planned order of 200 additional K9 Vajra-T self-propelled guns.

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