The Modi government has undertaken some unprecedented measures with a view to not just ‘add teeth’ to the firepower of our forces but also to make our country more safe and secure.
Higher allocation to defence
For the first time ever, the defence budget is set to cross Rs. 3,00,000 crores in 2019-20 signifying government’s solid commitment to our forces.
Overhauling of administration
In order to prepare a more integrated planning and response strategy, the constitution of the overarching Defence Planning Committee (DPC) under the National Security Adviser as a cross-governmental body, has been done to strengthen India’s ability to work on and evolve long-term strategies.
Restructuring of the armed forces
As is the trend worldwide, in order to make a more lean and mean fighting force, the government has endeavoured to restructure the armed forces. Involving redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers and others, the aim is to improve the “teeth to tail” ratio of the Indian Army.
Towards Defence Technological Sovereignty
As defence technologies continue to evolve and upgrade by the day, the government has done some serious reworking on the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). Apart from forming Make in India as an integral component of defence procurement, the liberalisation of FDI norms allowing composite foreign investment up to 49 % under automatic route and through FIPB route beyond 49% further prepares our forces for a more self-dependent future in terms of defence technologies.
Defence Corridors: Impetus to Domestic Manufacturing
The decision to set up two Defence Production Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu would also go a long way in making India self-reliant in defence production through ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
Modernisation of Ordnance Factories
A big push has also been given to the existing ordnance factories in the country apart from issuing licences to many more Indian players in the market again giving a fillip to the domestic defence manufacturing sector.
With successful deployment of Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant, India has completed its nuclear triad allowing the armed forces to launch necessary second-strike capabilities from all platforms (land, air and water) even as it remains committed to the doctrine of credible minimum deterrence and no first use.
Modernisation of Arsenal
In addition to the attainment of nuclear triad, the acquisition of some of the most lethal weapon and delivery systems in the world including the Rafale, Hercules C-130J, a medium sized, all weather transport aircraft, and Chinook heavy lift helicopters, among others under this government, has further added ballast to the Indian armed forces. The development of the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class aircraft with the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' successfully completing mid-air refuelling trial is a landmark achievement. Then the commissioning of INS Kalavari as the first Scorpene class submarine developed indigenously has been a symbol of Make-in-India.
Strategic Tie-ups with Leading Powers
In addition to reinforcing and strengthening close defence partnerships with some of the foremost military powers of the world including the US, Russia, France and Israel among others, the government has sought to allow the armed forces to work with the best in the business. The long-pending Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) signed with the US is a ringing testimony to that endeavour.
Therefore, the government has made sure that India’s armed forces are ready to deal with any eventuality.