Friday 06 December 2019, 04:45 PM
Indian Army Modernization: Budgetary Constrains Blur Focus
By Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd.) | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/10/2018 1:59:55 PM
Indian Army Modernization: Budgetary Constrains Blur Focus
दक्षिण कोरिया की के9 वज्र सेल्फ प्रोपेल्ड तोप

Indian Army of the future will be technology –driven accordingly, it is replacing or upgrading its inventory of weapons and equipment while restructuring and right-sizing. Sadly, modernisation plans of the Army are hampered by budgetary constraints hence remain sluggish.Some projects have picked up pace and things are showing on ground. From here on – over the next 24 months – will change the Army’s profile, weaponry and also equipment.For the artillery the good news is that the BAE produced M777, purchased from the US through the foreign military sales route and the Vajra K 9 – jointly produced by L&T and the Hanwha-Techwin of South Korea  have been inducted on November 9.

भारतीय सेना की विध्वंसक क्षमता का प्रदर्शन 
 
The focus is now on indigenously OFB manufactured Dhanush gun and the ATAGS designed by the DRDO and manufactured by Tata  and Bharat Forge.The other focus is on adding new versions of the more lethal, precision artillery systems like BrahMos cruise missiles, Smerch and Pinaka rocket systems.For the Infantry, tenders are out for the new generation lightweight assault rifles, carbines and light machine guns (LMG’s). These will be mix of make in India and direct purchase from foreign sources.  
 
New bullet proof jackets and helmets have started coming in for counter insurgency operations. The Army is looking at having more numbers of night vision devices, radio sets and better back packs, to replace the older generation weapons and equipment. Besides this UAVs are needed in greater numbers and those with surveillance and precision attack options.
 
ऑर्डनेंस फैक्ट्री बोर्ड निर्मित 52/155 मि.मी. धनुष तोप 
 
For the armoured and mechanised Forces tanks are being night enabled, latest versions of the Anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) are need on priority. The Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) and Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) projects need to be pursued with vigour.In Aviation, acquisitions of new generation Apache attack helicopters into the Army Aviation have been sanctioned. The Army needs 114 light-combat helicopters. HAL has The Army will get a large number of the 200 Kamov 226T helicopters. Army is also getting the indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
 
In Air Defence a total revamp of equipment is needed to have better  surface to air missile systems. The air-defence mechanism will have a three-pronged approach. The Army is in the process of inducting indigenously built Akash SAM that can hit the target at 25 km. It is also looking at Israeli “spyder” air defence missile system, which is militarily classified as “low-level, quick reaction missile”  to neutralise hostile incoming targets up to 15 km away and at height between 20 and 9,000 m. The third are the air defence guns. Around 428 such pieces are needed to take on aerial targets in the immediate vicinity of 4 km. These will replace the Army’s obsolete air-defence assets dating back to the 1970s.
 
स्मर्च मल्टी बैरल रॉकेट सिस्टम  
 
Another key project is the Battlefield Management System (BMS).Two private consortiums have submitted their projects in Mid-2017. The US $ 6 billion system will be built under the “Make in India” category. Two proposals made by Tata Power SED with Larsen & Toubro, and state-owned Bharat Electronics with Rolta India are being studied by the MoD and the Army's Integrated Project Management Team.Once fully developed and proved, battlefield management systems – some 600 needed -- will be critical elements of the Army's network-centric warfare program and will link infantry level troops on the battlefield to the command headquarters. 
 
Shrinking Capital budget:The ‘capital budget’ for new procurement schemes, is shrinking in percentage terms. At  least 40 % of the Army budget should be for Capital procurement, this has slipped to a  meagre 15 percent in the last two years. A Parliamentary Standing Committee has suggested least 2.5% of the GDP should be allotted for defence expenditure other than pensions. The present budget is 1.70 percent of the GDP. The Army’s share within the defence budget has dropped from 60% in 1990-91 to about 52% in the current budget. 
 
दुश्मन की सीमा में 37 कि.मी. दूर तक मार करने वाली पिनाका मल्टी बैरल रॉकेट 
 
A parliamentary panel report on March 13, 2018 said the defence budget for the year 2018-2019 was ‘inadequate’ and ‘barely enough’ to cater for inflation. Maj Gen BC Khanduri (retd), a BJP MP from Uttarakhand, heads the panel. “Capital budget allocation for the Army had dashed hopes as it was barely enough to cater to the rise in expenses on account of inflation, and did not even cater for the taxes,” the Vice Chief of the Army told the panel. The Army today has 68 per cent of equipment in the ‘vintage category.’ Around 25 projects indentified under Make in India may be foreclosed due to inadequate budget, the report said. 

Need to cut down expenses: The salaries of the three services and the civilians at the MoD work out to be Rs 1,18,966 crore and now form 40 percent of the Budget or the fiscal ending March 31, 2019.  In other words salaries and pensions, respectively, take up more money than what is allocated for modernisation. The Budget’s capital outlay is Rs 99, 563 crore. The money is meant for new equipment, weapons, aircraft, naval warships, Army vehicles.The first step in cutting down costs would be to integrate and, see if logistics and be outsourced. A restructuring process is on in the Army that aims to cut down on flab. For 2018-19, the Army projected a need for Rs 44,572 crore, it got Rs 26,815 crore. The Navy wanted Rs 35,695 crore, but got only Rs 20,003 crore. The IAF is managing with Rs 35,770 crore against its need for Rs 77,694 crore. 
 
 
 
 

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Indian Army,equipment,restructuring,modernisation,indigenously,DRDO,manufactured

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