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India to buy guns worth $553 mn for border troops

NEW DELHI: India will buy more than 160,000 guns worth $553 million for troops on its disputed, high-altitude borders, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.

The defence acquisition council cleared the purchase of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for 35 billion rupees ($553 million) in a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The weapons will be bought to “enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders,” the ministry said in a statement.

New Delhi has signed several big-ticket defence deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in 2014.

India — the world’s largest defence importer — has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware.

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