Tensions intensify on both borders as Pakistan continues infiltration of terrorists and firing on the Western border while the stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies continues on the Eastern. Amidst rising tensions, the Narendra Modi government has taken a crucial decision to raise war-preparedness of the forces.
The government has authorised the Indian Army to make emergency purchases of ammunition, stores, spares for several weapon platforms so that the army is ready for a ‘short intense war’. It is estimated that these purchases may be worth Rs 40,000 crore.
After the Uri terrorist attack last year, the Indian Army had conducted an internal audit that revealed huge shortfall in artillery ammunition, tanks shells, fuses and spares for weapons platforms. Normally, the Indian military is required to be ready to fight a short intense war that could last between 10 to 15 days.
The Army has now identified 46 kinds of ammunition, spares for 10 weapons platforms like infantry combat vehicles and half-a-dozen mines of various kinds as critical for war fighting that will now be purchased.
A senior Ministry of Defence officer said, “Unlike previous process, there is no per-determined cap on the amount that can be spent. Rather, the limit to spending has been tied to the minimum stores, ammunition that must be in the reserve of the army at given time. This is big shift.” A senior Army officer also praised the move saying,“It is a major move to fill various gaps in our combat readiness.”
The executive order authorising the Vice Chief of Indian Army to make emergency purchases was issued recently. This gives the Army unprecedented financial powers and allows them to make purchases without giving ‘technical’ reasons to the government for their purchases.
In today’s times, a prolonged war isn’t possible. If there will be a war then it will most likely be short as sides wouldn’t want to risk turning the war nuclear and also there will be immense geopolitical pressure to cease war. This is why this move by the government is very significant.