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Image: Indian navy sailor B.K. Gurung holds his position on the flight deck of USS Mustin (DDG 89) during a visit, board, search and seizure drill. Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John L. Beeman, U.S. Navy

India’s long shopping list calls for $20 billion in fighter jets, $1.5 billion worth of refueling aircraft and billions of dollars in submarines, tanks and artillery, among other equipment, all part of an estimated $80 billion spending spree over the next five years.

Fueled by superpower ambitions and rivalry with China but hampered by a creaky domestic defense industry, India is on a military buying spree that’s made it the belle of the global military ball.

Pakistan once kept Indian generals awake at night. But increasingly that mantle goes to China, with its growing economic and military might and festering territorial disputes along its 2,800-mile-long border with India. Adding to India’s insecurity are memories of its defeat by the Chinese in a 1962 border war.

Source: Mark Magnier for the Los Angeles Times via The Seattle Times.

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