India - China relations

India-China relation: India urgently purchased 33 fighter jets amid tensions with China

The Indian Air Force (IAF) decided to buy 33 fighters from Russia on urgent orders from Indian officials amid clashes with Chinese troops in the border area.
June 19, 2020 | 11:29
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Indian news agency ANI said on June 19 that the IAF had proposed to buy 21 MiG-29 fighter jets and 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts from Russia to the Indian Ministry of Defense for approval.

“The Indian Air Force has been pushing forward with the plan to buy the aircraft for a long time, but it is now speeding up the process, and fighter jet proposals expected to be worth more than $ 800 million was submitted to the Ministry of Defense for approval last week at a high level meeting, ”according to ANI, cited from the Indian government sources.

India and Russia negotiated the purchase of MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30MKI fighters from last year, following a visit by a group of Indian Air Force officials to inspect the MiG-29 fighters.

MiG-29s have been flown by the IAF and the pilots looked familiar with but the ones offered by the Russians are different from the Indian inventory's ones. The IAF has three squadrons of the MiG-29s which have been undergoing upgrades for extended life and are considered reliable in the air defence roles.

Sukhois are very expensive to run primarily because they require two pilots compare to most of the plane where long 1 pilot is required but it is now felt that perhaps even though India has a large number of Sukhois but the additional number of Sukhois could be used in the difficult time, cited from the ANI.

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India-decided-to-buy-more-MiG-29-fighters. (Photo: REUTERS)

According to Indian media, the move took place after recent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the border area between two countries. The tensions between China and India have escalated following a clash between both sides' soldiers of the Galwan valley in Ladakh region in the disputed Kashmir area on June 15, killing at least 20 Indian soldiers.

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China admited casualties among its troop but has not released figures. The Indian government subsequently called on all military units to be ready for high combat readiness.

China claimed to have released 10 Indian soldiers arrested in clashes, New Delhi rejected that information

China claimed to have released 10 Indian soldiers arrested in clashes in disputed border areas in the Himalayas, killing at least 20 Indian soldiers.

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Indian-border-guards-stand-guard-on the-road-towards-the-disputed-Ladakh-border-area. (Photo: AFP)

The India's Press Trust reported on June 19 that 10 Indian soldiers were released on June 18, following talks between Indian and Chinese officials to ease tensions after the clashes.

The Indian government has not made any comments yet, but the army declared that "no Indian soldiers were missing" after the clash between soldiers in disputed Kashmir region's Ladakh on June 15's evening.

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India-holds-funerals-for-soldiers-killed-in-the-clashes-with-Chinese troop.

The Hindu reported that an agreement to release Indian soldiers was reached at general level talks between Indian and Chinese troops.

The Indian military confirmed that 18 Indian soldiers were still being treated for serious injuries. The Chinese side acknowledged that there were casualties among its soldiers but did not disclose the figures.

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India-and-China's soldiers-made-clashes-in-the-border-area.

India and China recently held a series of political and military dialogues to reduce tensions between the two sides, but also warned each other in public statements.

India "should not underestimate China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territory", China said after a phone call between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on June 17.

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Indian external affairs minister (left), Chinese FM (right), talked on phone over border conflicts.

Later, Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar stressed that China carried out a "pre-meditated and planned action" attack and would have "a serious impact" on the relationship between the two countries.

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