Military severely lacks respective capabilities. · Developments in

Military Modernization in India

What is Military Modernisation

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Augmenting defence
capabilities i.e. land, air, and sea capabilities.

Requirement of Military Modernization

The Indian Army is a force largely organised,
equipped and trained to fight conventional wars and when it comes to Modern day
wars it severely lacks respective capabilities.

Developments in India’s neighbourhood  have led India to take a close look at her
foreign and security policies.

Issues such as
unresolved territorial disputes with China and Pakistan, insurgency in Jammu
and Kashmir (J) and in the North Eastern states, left wing extremism, and
the rising threat of urban terrorism has further worsened India’s security

To meet the
challenges that emanate from both traditional and non-traditional threats that
pose severe threats to India’s national security.

India’s land
forces lack sophisticated weapons, the navy’s submarine fleet has dwindled down
to 40 percent of the minimum requirements, and the fighter squadrons are at the
low level of 60 percent of the mandatory need, which indeed is a cause of
concern considering the slow pace of India’s defence modernisation.

perception is that Great powers require great arms industries. In order to
become a major Global Power India need to specially focus on Military Modernisation.

Changing Nature of Modern Warfare

A reduction in full fledged ‘state vs state’

Hybrid wars appear to be the new norm, involving
a combination of state and Non state actors.

Types of Modern Warfare

Irregular warfare

Conflict against a state by employing trained
combatants who are not regular military. Pakistan has launched such ‘irregulars’
in all its wars against India.

Asymmetric warfare

·       War
between sides whose military power differs greatly, waged by the weaker side
using non-traditional means like terrorism.


War waged by a country using means other than
established forms of armed conflict, to make the adversary capitulate even
without a classical war (economic wars, water wars, legal wars etc).

Technological/ Informational warfare

Combination of cyber, space, electronic,
propaganda, psychological, media and social media wars.

Status of Military Modernisation in India

 Pace of
modernisation of the Indian armed forces over the years has been rather slow,
and technologically, they are not where they should have been.

Indigenous development of modern defence
hardware continues to remain a concern.

Indian policy aspiration for defence
self-sufficiency remains largely elusive.


Problems with Indian Defence Industry

Suffers from major policy, structural, and
cultural challenges.

inability to meet its own defence needs through indigenous production (the two
flagship programs i.e. Main Battle Tank Arjun and LCA Tejas are examples where
the Indian defence research organisations have gone through several production
delays and cost-overrun is drawing wider concerns over the challenges that the
Indian defence industry has been going through in terms of being efficient,
productive, and more capable in research and development  (R) of advanced weapons system and
defence technology.

The targets
that have been set over the years have not been achieved


Needs of the Indian Army

The primary role of the Indian Army is to ensure
the territorial integrity of the nation by deterrence or by waging war.

The Indian Army has been structured as a ‘two and
a half front’ force, whereby, not only has the Army built up conventional
capabilities to deal with threats along the Western and Northern Fronts, but it
has also the capacity to deal with the lesser ‘sub-conventional front’, by
employment of the ‘Rashtriya Rifles’ independently or in combination with
regular, paramilitary or police forces.


The infantry, which is continuously being
employed in counter-terrorist or counter-insurgency operations, needs to be
empowered immediately by provision of  new
generation lightweight assault rifles, bullet proof jackets and helmets, hand
held thermal imagers (HHTIs) , carbines, machine guns,  rocket launchers,  anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs),  mortars,  night vision devices.


Adequate quantities of new 155 mm artillery
guns, including  indigenously manufactured
Dhanush systems, BrahMos cruise missiles,  Pinaka rocket systems,  need to be inducted immediately .

UAVs – More quantities of Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAVs) of latest technology must be inducted

Army Aviation

Acquisition of three squadrons worth of new
generation Apache attack helicopters into the Army Aviation has been reportedly
sanctioned, as a follow up of the Air Force order.

the Kamov replacement helicopters, indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) projects must be pursued vigorously .

Air Defence(AD)

The various army air defence weapon acquisition
projects for acquisition of all types of surface to air missile systems as well
as upgrading old generation systems must be provided fresh impetus so that
these materialise at the earliest


The combat engineers need to be provided new
generation of bridging equipment, mine-laying equipment as well as mine
clearance equipment. Where possible, old equipment must be upgraded

Night Vision Devices

All arms of the Army have to be night equipped
with light weight, long range and easily usable night vision devices.


What are the challenges for Defence Modernisation in India

Building up military power is not easy, given
the budgetary constraints, country needs to concurrently meet the important
requirement of economic development to provide human security and a better
quality of life for its people.

No clearly articulated and integrated military
strategy for Military Planning.

Lack of ‘capital budget’ for new procurement
schemes, especially ‘big ticket’ items.

Inadequate Defence Budget

Over the decades, the Indian Army has continued
to expand, in manpower terms, in its quest to build up capability to deal with
potential threats and challenges.

There is lack of expertise within the Army in
the field of weapon designs and technology, resulting in lack of meaningful
inputs for the indigenous defence industry.

 The Army
remains rooted to the outdated policies of employing ‘generalists’ rather than
‘specialists’ to man the weapon procurement functions at Army Headquarters.

Inefficiency and apparent lack of accountability
of various organs of the Defence Ministry responsible for indigenous design and
manufacture of weapons, equipment and ammunition for the Army, namely the DRDO,
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs).

The indigenous defence industry, mostly based on
the public sector, is unable to provide items of desired quality in a timely

National Security Policy & Collective Decision


The lack of
military inputs in decision-making is considered to be the most significant

 It is also observed that the national security
strategy of India suffers from flaws such as the absence of a National Security
Doctrine and the absence of a long-term defence planning.

Moreover, the
need for a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a supposedly single point of advice to
the CCS on military affairs and defence acquisitions, has been long felt.


Suggestions for the Modernisation of Indian Army

Modernisation of equipment must involve not only
replacement of old equipment but also upgradation of selected quantities of old
serviceable equipment in a phased manner.

Proposed defence expenditure must be aligned to
the NITI Ayog’s three, seven and 15 year vision and budget allocation

The Indian Army must cap its overall numbers at
the current level of 1.3 million.

New structures for expanding the Army Aviation,
enhancing informational warfare capability and for raising Headquarters for the
proposed Special Operations, Cyber and Space Commands must be provided manpower
from within the existing establishment.

The government must stop protecting the defence
public sector and must create a genuine ‘level playing field’ for entry of the
private sector into indigenous defence manufacturing.

The private industry must be provided all possible
incentives and encouragement to not only manufacture components, or just take
over their assembly lines, but to manufacture full systems independently.

The Army Design Bureau must be fully
operationalised on priority, under guidance and support from the Ministry of
Defence. It must be empowered to contribute effectively towards creation of
futuristic designs of all types of weapons and equipment for the Army.

A separate cadre of officers must be deputed to
this organisation and specialisation, once created among them, must be

All functions within the procurement set-up at
Army headquarters must be manned by specialists rather than by generalists,
thus making drastic improvements in the existing system.


IAF’s Modernisation

It operates more
types of fast jet aircrafts simultaneously than almost any other air force , is
also paradoxically an indication of how well funded it is compared to many air

·       In
terms of fast jets, India currently flies the Hawk, Mig-21, Mig-27, Mig-29,
Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Su-30MKI and Tejas; and will soon fly the Rafale. 

Under development


In October 2007, India and Russia signed a pact to develop a Fifth Generation
Fighter Aircraft which is a
derivative project from the Sukhoi Su-57.

 The Indian version will be a two-seater, air
superiority fighter.

Airborne Early Warning System


HAL Light Combat Helicopter

HAL Light Utility Helicopter

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Surface to Air Missile System

of the Indian Navy 

The Navy being
the smallest of the three Services, has always received the least share of
Defence Budget.

Under Development

Aircraft Carriers

INS Vikrant is planned to join the Eastern Naval
Command in 2020

Navy has been stating that it needs a
minimum of three aircraft carriers to fulfill its missions. 


class – Follow on of the Kolkata class
with improved stealth features


Talwar class-
Four additional vessels to be built in a joint
partnership between Russia and India in an Indian shipyard.


Arihant class- 
1 commissioned, 1 being outfitted, 2 under construction


Committee Recommendations

Naresh Chandra

June 2011, government of India had announced setting up a high-powered task
force to review the defence management in the country and make suggestions for
implementation of major defence projects.

Creation of a
new post of Intelligence Advisor to assist the NSA and the National
Intelligence Board on matters relating to coordination in the functioning of
intelligence committee

Amendment to
Prevention of Corruption Act to reassure honest officers, who take important
decisions about defence equipment acquisition, so that they are not harassed
for errors of judgement or decision taken in good faith.

A permanent
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

Deputation of officers from services up to director’s
level in Ministry of Defense

Measures to augment the flow of foreign language
experts into the intelligence and security agencies, which face a severe
shortage of trained linguists

Promotion of synergy in civil-military
functioning to ensure integration.

Early establishment of a National Defence
University (NDU) and the creation of a separate think-tank on internal

D B Shekatkar Committee


·        To recommend
recommend measures to “rebalance” defense allocations between revenue
and capital expenditure.

The overall aim of the committee is to ensure
combat capabilities Indian armed forces and enhance their potential with a
better teeth-to-tail combat ratio, within budgetary

 It also aims at ensuring leaner and cost-effective
fighting forces of India.


The committee
was constituted owing to the present revenue component (day-to-day
costs/salaries) in the defence budget.

The revenue
component usually outstrips the capital outlay every year and leaves a very
little for new modernisation projects for the armed forces.

For this purpose
government is focusing on modernisation and induction of cutting-edge
technologies, for optimisation of manpower.


Govt Steps taken

Ministry of Defence has decided to reform the
Indian Army in a planned manner to enhance its combat capability and optimize expenditure
on the lines of Report by Lt General D B Shekatkar Panel.

Accepted Recommendation

Improve operational efficiency of the
Army: To Improve teeth to tail ratio i.e.
increase the number of soldiers actually doing the fighting against those
needed to support them to fight.

Judicious use of resources by
optimization of supply, transport and ordnance infrastructure .

India’s Defence Policy

defence industrial policy during the initial years of its independence was
guided by the phrase ‘self-sufficiency’.

This was
subsequently modified to ‘self-reliance’ in defence production, and now it has
long been a fundamental goal of indigenous armaments production in India.

Defence Procurement Policy

Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016, focuses on institutionalising, streamlining
and simplifying defence procurement procedure to give a boost to “Make in India”.

Key Features

A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM
(Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ has been introduced in
Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 .

Preference has been accorded to ‘Buy (Indian)’
and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy
(Global)’ & ‘Buy & Make (Global)’ categories.

Requirement of Indigenous content has been
enhanced / rationalised for various categories of capital acquisition.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

The objective of
the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the
approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and
time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary

The functions of the DAC include:

Approval of 15 Year Long-Term
Integrated Perspective Plan for Defence Forces.

Categorization of the
acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’.

Decision regarding ‘offset’
provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs. 300 crores.

Decisions regarding Transfer of
Technology under ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals.

Make in India as a way forward to Address
the Security Challenge & As a policy towards Defence Modernisation

India is one
of the largest arms importer in the world and in terms of  indigenous production of technology  India continues to struggle.

As per the official estimate of the MoD, India
is likely to spend around $130 billion on defence modernisation in the coming
seven-to-eight years.

While this makes India one of the largest
defence markets in the world, the opportunity it offers should be fully
exploited for the benefit of local industry.

This will not only improve India’s self-reliance
in defence production but will have a multiplier effect on the wider economy.

·       The
government must ensure that the local industry is geared and incentivised
enough to rise up to the expectations and make the government’s ‘Make in India’
initiative a success story.

Way Ahead-

Decision Making process is required.

Efficacy of
the established process of decision-making in defence acquisition, which is
managed by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) should be made speedy.