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Army kicks off modernisation drive with emphasis on high-volume firepower, surveillance and night combat

The 13-lakh strong Indian Army is now cranking up its cognizance on longer-variety guns and night-fighting abilities, multi-potential drones and `disruptive technologies’, early detection and focused on systems, in its ongoing modernization power amidst the 20-month-lengthy army stiff off with China in Eastern Ladakh.

The Army presently has 93 modernization projects in development at numerous tiers withinside the procurement procedure, with a complete price of Rs 1.37 lakh crore ($18.four billion).

With the general thrust additionally being on indigenization, General M M Naravane lately stated 19 of the 20 new “recognition of necessities (AoNs)” accredited for the Army by the defense ministry in the current fiscal year are withinside the “Buy Indian” category.

Related: Armed Forces to Have Key Appointments Soon: Officials

The Army has inked 121 capital procurement contracts well worth Rs 93,463 crore during the last 3-4 years. The standoff with China, of course, pushed the complete modernization procedure. Under emergency powers, 71 capital procurement contracts (worth Rs 6,918 crore) and 113 sales procurement deals (Rs 9,000 crore) were inked since June 2020, stated sources.

“The purpose was to make up for operational deficiencies, while the re-balancing of extra forces to the northern borders and infrastructure improvement become fast-tracked to counter the China threat,” stated a source.

To this end, the Army plans to reserve every other 200 K-9 `Vajra’ self-propelled tracked artillery weapons after inducting 100 of them under a Rs 4,366 joint undertaking of L&T and South Korean company Hanwha Defence. With a strike range of 28-38 km, the Army has deployed a number of those 155mm/52-quality weapons in Ladakh.

Related: Stand off with china, popularity of Made in India drones for LAC surveillance is high

The induction of around 110 of the 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers ordered from the United States for over Rs 5,000 crore is already complete, with the remaining to be done in the next 5 months.
The Army has additionally prepared regiments with the `Sharang’ artillery systems, that’s the upgraded model of the old Soviet 130mm guns, with a one-third on the way.

Another cognizance for the Army is “future-ready mechanized platforms”, with superior guns, better night-combat and multi-weather abilities from deserts to mountainous terrains.

Two “Make in India” tasks are envisaged for this. One for 1,750 futuristic infantry fight vehicles (FICVs) and the alternative for 1,770 advanced main-battle tanks or future-ready vehicles (FRCVs).

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