English Language & Literature TERM II
Factual Passage (Solved)
Class 10 Session 2021-2022
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
US PIPS RUSSIA AS TOP ARMS SUPPLIER TO INDIA
The US has overtaken Russia as the largest arms supplier to India in the last three years. But in terms of overall numbers, Russia still remains the biggest weapons exporter to India, having notched military sales worth over $40 billion since the first MiG-21 jets and T-55 tanks in the 1960s to the present-day Sukhoi-30MKI fighters and T-90S main-battle tanks.
Russia, of course, is now running scared of the aggressive inroads being made by the US into the money-spinning Indian arms market, as if the continuing challenge from France and Israel was not enough. India, incidentally, has even turned to Israel to upgrade some of its Russian-origin equipment.
With IAF having inducted over 200 of the 272 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters ordered for over $12 billion, Russia is eager to quickly seal the final R&D contract with India to jointly develop the stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft. If India indeed moves to induct over 200 such “swing-role” stealth fighters in the next decade, it will spend close to $35 billion on them.
But that is in the future. On Tuesday, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha, defence minister Arun Jaitley said India spent Rs 83,458 crore on importing weapons over the last three years. The US stood first in this list with Rs 32,615 crore, followed by Russia (Rs 25,364 crore), France (Rs 12,047 crore) and Israel (Rs 3,389 crore).
The US has bagged Indian defence deals worth almost $10 billion since 2007-2008. The deals include ones for 12 C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ aircraft ($2 billion), eight P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft ($2.1 billion) and 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft ($4.1 billion), as earlier reported by TOI.
India is also now close to inking another two deals with the US, worth over $2.5 billion, for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers. Both these helicopters outgunned their Russian rivals, Mi-28 Havocs and Mi-26s, in the sweepstakes. The Apache deal will get bigger in the coming years since the Army also wants 39 such attack helicopters after IAF inducts the first 22.
US defence secretary Chuck Hagel also made a renewed pitch for co-production of another dozen arms projects during his visit here last week. They range from Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, MH-60 Romeo multi-role helicopters, “big data” and cyber-security to magnetic catapults for aircraft carriers, spy drones, mine-scattering systems and 127mm warship guns.
India has consciously tried to diversify its arms imports since the 1999 Kargil conflict due to Russia’s propensity to not adhere to delivery schedules, jack up costs midway through execution of contracts, create hurdles in transfer of technology and unreliable spares supply. The long-delayed delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) as well as the huge jump in its refit cost to $2.33 billion was just the most prominent example of it.
Question.4. How much money will India invest to develop the stealth fifth generation fighters in the next decade?
Question.7. Why is India consciously trying to diversify its arms imports?