India Today - - THE BIG STORY -

The army’s ex­ist­ing bat­tle strat­egy that re­volves around three strike corps (each with one lakh troops and 1,000 fight­ing ve­hi­cles) has been hit by out­dated tech­nol­ogy. Roughly a third of its Rs 2.5 lakh crore equip­ment in­ven­tory com­prises out­dated equip­ment. Two crit­i­cal projects worth over $2 bil­lion (Rs 90,000 crore) to equip in­fantry soldiers with modern as­sault ri­fles and night-vi­sion de­vices and an­other one to al­low high-speed en­crypted com­mu­ni­ca­tion links be­tween army for­ma­tions are over a decade be­hind sched­ule.

The army func­tions on a com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem de­vel­oped in the 1970s that has neg­li­gi­ble data trans­mis­sion. “We are fight­ing fourth-gen­er­a­tion war­fare (in­sur­gen­cies), pre­par­ing for third-gen­er­a­tion war­fare (con­ven­tional con­flicts) with a Sec­ond World War mind­set,” says a gen­eral. Only two ma­jor weapon sys­tems have been ac­quired since the Kargil war: over 1,000 T-90 tanks and Smerch long-range rock­ets from Rus­sia. Mean­while, its in­fantry­men lack light­weight body ar­mour and modern hel­mets. The army of­fi­cially ad­mits that close to 80 per cent of its 3,500 tanks are not equipped with night-vi­sion de­vices and hence can­not fight at night. The new T-90 tanks in the strike for­ma­tions are pro­tected by 1960s vin­tage air de­fence mis­siles.

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