India - Armed forces

The Indian Armed Forces have a proud tradition, having provided one million soldies during World War I and two million in World War II battles in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The armed forces are entirely volunteer and consist of the regular army, navy, and air force; the territorial (reserve) army; and 13 different full-time or reserve special purpose paramilitary units for border, transportation, and internal defense. The home guard and provincial armed constabulary alone number over 1,000,000 while the Ministry of Home Affairs controls 167,400 riot police and 174,000 in the Border Security Force (BSF).

In 2002, armed forces personnel totaled 1,298,000. The army had 1,100,000 personnel, organized into three armored divisions, one mechanized division, 18 infantry divisions, nine mountain divisions, five independent armored brigades, five independent infantry brigades, three independent artillery brigades, four air defense brigades, and three engineer brigades. Armaments included 3,898 main battle tanks and 90 light tanks. The navy (including the naval air force and marines) had 53,000 personnel; naval vessels included 16 submarines, two aircraft carriers, seven destroyers, 13 frigates, five corvettes, 15 patrol boats, and 18 mine-warfare ships. The air force had 145,000 personnel and 701 combat aircraft. There is a coast guard of over 8,000 personnel, with 14 aircraft and 34 patrol craft. It is suspected that India possesses 60 nuclear weapons, and has the capability for producing more.

Budgeted defense expenditures in 2001 were $12.1 billion or2.5% of GDP. India provides personnel to four peacekeeping operations. Opposition forces number between 2,000 and 2,500.

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