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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not battle-ready before 2027, admits Indian Army

The Indian Army, one of the world's largest, has admitted it is far from being battle-ready. The force is 50 per cent short of attaining full capability.

The admission is part of the army's internal assessment report submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. Headlines Today has exclusive access to the report.

The report says it will take around 20 years for the army to gain full defence preparedness. The infantry, artillery and the armoury would be fully ready for battle only by 2027. This means that in the event of a war in the next two decades, the country may prove to be a virtual sitting duck.

Going by the report, the force seems most vulnerable as far as combat helicopters are concerned. The report says the army has attained an abysmal 17 per cent capability in combat choppers. Full combat capability by helicopters would not be possible before 2027.

Another problem is the army's inability to develop a communication network. India will not have a real-time information sharing network before 2027. The current capability is just 24 per cent despite the country's stellar show in information technology.

What's really shocking is the shortage in fighting arms. The artillery has just 52 per cent of the total capability required to defend the country. The country will near 97 per cent capability in artillery only by 2027.

The infantry too is struggling at a 65 per cent capability. The infantry wants to replace its indigenous INSAS rifles, acquire night-fighting capabilities, new generation anti-tank missiles and rockets. Shields for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare too are not properly in place.

The picture isn't rosy for the mechanised and special forces units either, which are way behind their required defence preparedness.
 

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