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Funding Crunch Leaves Modi’s Military Purchases a Pipe Dream

  • Low budget, complex process hamper India defense modernization
  • Procurement in need of major reform, not update, analyst says
India PM Narendra Modi Attends Celebrations At The Republic Day Parade
Photographer: T.Narayan/Bloomberg
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Global companies from Lockheed Martin to Sweden’s Saab AB are offering military hardware from submarines to helicopters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as part of his $250 billion defense modernization program. But bureaucratic delays and a funding crunch has made future deals next to impossible.

Airbus SE won a $1.7 billion contract to supply transport planes to the Indian Air Force in 2015 -- it’s first military agreement in the South Asian nation since 1962. Five years later, that deal is yet to be signed.