In­dia’s In­fantry Mod­erni­sa­tion

The lack of progress in ac­quir­ing even the weaponry, which is the eas­i­est and most fun­da­men­tal, is de­pres­sive to say the least be­cause it di­rectly and most ad­versely af­fects the soldiers fight­ing abil­ity in the field. It is there­fore clear that the Army i

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

The lack of progress of ac­quir­ing even the weaponry, which is the eas­i­est and most fun­da­men­tal, is de­pres­sive to say the least be­cause it di­rectly and most ad­versely af­fects the soldiers fight­ing abil­ity in the field.

IN­DIA FACES DI­VERSE THREATS and chal­lenges. While there is an ex­is­ten­tial threat of con­ven­tional con­flicts aris­ing from un­re­solved borders in the west with Pak­istan and in the north and north-east with China, on the other hand, there is the for­mi­da­ble chal­lenge de­vel­op­ing within the borders of In­dia. This is from home-grown in­sur­gen­cies, mil­i­tancy and ter­ror­ism which arise due to a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. To add to these two sce­nar­ios is the con­tin­u­ing and con­stant threat from state-spon­sored ter­ror­ism nursed and nur­tured in In­dia’s im­me­di­ate neigh­bour­hood and its di­rect and in­di­rect link­ages to con­ven­tional con­flicts, in the re­gion, in the fu­ture. All this makes this part of South Asia more volatile and un­pre­dictable.

The ex­is­tence of ter­ror­ist camps across the In­dia-Pak­istan bor­der and the line of con­trol (LoC) and the like­li­hood of Pak­istani Tal­iban, who are cur­rently en­gaged in fight­ing in their Western prov­inces and on the Pak­istan- Afghanistan bor­der, turn­ing their at­ten­tion to­wards the LoC, is a set­ting that In­dia must be pre­pared to face. The con­tin­u­ing in­fil­tra­tions across the LoC demon­strate Pak­istan’s at­ti­tude and ap­proach to ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, even though such or­gan­i­sa­tions pose a dan­ger to Pak­istan’s own so­cial and po­lit­i­cal fab­ric. Thus In­dia faces a strong like­li­hood of more in­ten­sive low-in­ten­sity con­flict sit­u­a­tions in Jammu and Kash­mir in the fu­ture.

In view of the in­creas­ing fo­cus on low­in­ten­sity con­flicts, the aim of this ar­ti­cle is to draw the reader’s at­ten­tion to the de­lay in mod­erni­sa­tion of In­dia’s in­fantry and its fu­ture in­fantry soldier pro­gramme.

F-INSAS

The fu­ture in­fantry soldier as a sys­tem (F-INSAS) had been ini­ti­ated more than six years ago to make the in­fantry­man a weapon plat­form with sit­u­a­tional aware­ness, in­creased lethal­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity in the digi­tised bat­tle­field. F-INSAS was to be ef­fected in three phases: Phase I in­cluded weapons, body ar­mour, cloth­ing and in­di­vid­ual equip­ment; Phase II was the tar­get ac­qui­si­tion sys­tem and Phase III com­prised the com­puter sub­sys­tem, ra­dio sub­sys­tem, soft­ware and soft­ware in­te­gra­tion.

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony in­spect­ing

an INSAS ri­fle dur­ing De­f­expo 2012

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