Short-sighted arms purchases

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by bhramos, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    13,208
    Likes Received:
    6,640
    Location:
    Telangana/India/Bharat
    Recently, India has exploited better relations with the US to diversify its supplier pool, but the bulk of its military equipment is of Soviet origin and thus outdated, which means that extensive modernization is needed, particularly if India is to keep pace with China

    The cabinet committee on security’s decision to clear a deal to purchase 500 air-to-air missiles from a French firm for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) Mirage 2000 fighters should be welcomed. However, the corresponding lack of approval for a new fleet of basic trainers for IAF is a sign of how urgently the defense procurement system in the country needs to be overhauled. All the more as India is now the single largest importer of defence equipment in the world (according to Swedish arms watchdog Sipri) as it lacks a domestic defence industry capable of meeting its military requirements as an aspiring great power.
    It is no exaggeration to say that India lives in a hostile neighbourhood and the threat of growing instability along its borders has led to the government recognizing its many military deficiencies. India’s defence spending has grown to accommodate this reality (at least in absolute terms) and a US think tank estimates that India will spend $80 billion on military modernization programmes by 2015. An underdeveloped indigenous defence manufacturing industry means that India has had to look elsewhere to meet its military needs. Recently, India has exploited better relations with the US to diversify its supplier pool, but the bulk of its military equipment is of Soviet origin and thus outdated, which means that extensive modernization is needed, particularly if India is to keep pace with China.
    However, India’s military modernization programmes lack transparency and are inefficient. The defence procurement process, in particular, is hampered by excessive bureaucracy and corruption and has led to the Armed Forces returning unspent funds to the treasury. This is especially bewildering when one considers that apart from the 400 or so Bofors guns infamously acquired in 1984-86, the army’s artillery is limited to guns from the 1970s at the latest. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India correctly criticized the army and the defence ministry for failing to induct artillery guns for over 20 years, pointing out that this adversely affected operational preparedness and compromised security.Delays in approvals of long-term plans, deficiencies in formulating qualitative requirements, inadequate vendor survey and identification and a lack of objectivity in technical and commercial evaluations are only some of the factors that hurt the defence procurement process. A lack of foresight and long-term planning in terms of a strategic doctrine does not help. In the absence of a coherent national security strategy, formulating a cohesive defence capability plan is difficult. This needs to be remedied, and fast.

    Short-sighted arms purchases - Views - livemint.com
     
    sesha_maruthi27 and W.G.Ewald like this.
  2.  

Share This Page