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
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.
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