As Indian troops remain dug in at Ladakh in a prolonged standoff with China, allies are pitching in with commitments to deliver urgently needed weapons and ammunition for the armed forces. France has promised to deliver additional Rafale jets next month, an in-service Israeli air defence system is expected soon, precision artillery rounds will be sent by the US, and Russia will make early deliveries of ammunition and weapons worth $1 billion.
The commitments have been made after top-level bilateral talks and a key meeting in the capital at which it was decided that emergency financial powers will be given to the armed forces to prepare for a prolonged standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The first set of cutting-edge Rafale fighter jets – equipped with perhaps the world’s best long-range air-to-air missiles – is expected to reach India by July 27. As per the initial plan, four fighters were to reach the home base at Ambala next month but sources said that France has now made a commitment to send additional Rafales in the first batch.
A total of eight aircraft are nearing certification but it is unclear how many additional fighters could be delivered early.