India invites Western observers to nuclear site war games
INDIA: India will invite Western observers and diplomats to a
major war games exercise near its border with rival Pakistan next month,
officials said on Thursday.
The exercise involving land forces, armour and the air force will
begin March 19 at Pokhran in the western desert state of Rajasthan where
India conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests in 1998 that drew
international sanctions, they said.
“A host of foreign dignitaries and defence attaches from friendly
countries will witness the exercise that is aimed at putting the
mechanised formations through their paces in a simulated, deep offensive
scenario in a desert terrain,” an air force spokesman said.
Pokhran is just 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the border with
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with rival India since the
subcontinent’s independence in 1947.
The drill codenamed “Brazen Chariots” will comprise Israeli-supplied
drones, Russian artillery, tanks and warplanes and thousands of troops
from one of India’s three main strike Corps, a military statement added.
The announcement came as global defence companies heat up a race to
try to corner Indian military contracts worth billions of dollars.
Up for grabs are deals for six submarines worth 2.3 billion dollars,
artillery worth three billion dollars and a global tender for 312
India also has already invited tenders to buy 126 war planes worth
10.24 billion dollars. New Delhi, Friday, AFP