‘DPP has evolved as a com­pre­hen­sive, and ro­bust com­pi­la­tion’

In an in­ter­view with SP’s Se­nior Tech­ni­cal Group Edi­tor Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor, Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S), Lt Gen­eral Naren­dra Singh, gave up­dates about the dif­fer­ent mod­erni­sa­tion pro­grammes of the In­dian Army. Ex­cerpts:

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): DCOAS (P&S) has been as­signed far greater re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. How is the sys­tem func­tion­ing?

Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) (DCOAS): The re­con­sti­tu­tion of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the Army Head­quar­ters (HQ) has made the func­tion­ing smoother for all line du­ties as well as for the DCOAS (P&S). Hav­ing said that, I would say that there has not been any par­a­digm change of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties or the hi­er­ar­chy. As the DCOAS (P&S), I am re­spon­si­ble for the mod­erni­sa­tion of the Army and man­ag­ing the cap­i­tal bud­get. The sys­tem fa­cil­i­tates con­sol­i­dat­ing re­quire­ments which are com­mon to all the line di­rec­torates and pro­ject­ing con­sol­i­dated cases for mod­ernising the Army. SP’s: Can you up­date us on the 155mm guns; 155mm/39 cal­i­bre ul­tra-light weight how­itzers; 155mm self-pro­pelled guns? DCOAS: The Army is look­ing at equip­ping the In­dian Ar­tillery with state-of-the-art fire­power plat­forms. Sev­eral ini­tia­tives to pro­cure var­i­ous types of 155mm guns for var­ied op­er­a­tional roles are at var­i­ous stages of fruc­ti­fi­ca­tion. A three-pronged ap­proach is be­ing adopted, wherein the im­me­di­ate re­quire­ment would be pro­cured ex im­port; the medium-term re­quire­ments would be man­u­fac­tured af­ter ab­sorb­ing tech­nol­ogy trans­fers; while the long-term re­quire­ments would be met by in­dige­nous de­vel­op­ments. SP’s: What is the sta­tus of Ar­jun Mk II? DCOAS: MBT Ar­jun has been in op­er­a­tional ser­vice with the In­dian Army since 2007. For an emerg­ing world power, we have to be selfreliant, with a strong in­dige­nous de­fence in­dus­try. There­fore, MBT Ar­jun is a step in the right di­rec­tion. We are now fo­cus­ing on in­tro­duc­ing an im­proved MBT Ar­jun Mk II with up­grades, to make it a truly world-class tank. The Army has clearly ar­tic­u­lated its longterm per­spec­tive plan for in­duc­tion of tanks. SP’s: The over­haul of the T-72 tank is be­hind sched­ule. How are we plan­ning to get over this is­sue? DCOAS: As you are aware, our T-72 fleet is be­ing over­hauled along with the up­grades. Our present over­haul ca­pac­ity is also be­ing en­hanced. All th­ese steps will en­sure that the com­plete mid-life over­haul of the tank, along with the up­grades, is com­pleted in an ac­cept­able time frame which meets our op­er­a­tional re­quire­ment. SP’s: What is the sta­tus of fu­ture main bat­tle tank (FMBT)? DCOAS: The FMBT will be an in­dige­nously de­signed and de­vel­oped tank. All stake­hold­ers would be brought on­board as the pro­ject pro­gresses. It would be based on the guide­lines of the DPP and in­dig-

enous in­dus­try would be in­volved to the ex­tent pos­si­ble. The de­vel­op­men­tal pro­ject will be mon­i­tored in all stages of de­vel­op­ment, from the PSQR stage to the bulk pro­duc­tion, so that we get a state-of-the-art tank, com­pa­ra­ble to/bet­ter than any fu­tur­is­tic tank of the world. SP’s: Is the cap­i­tal bud­get al­lot­ted to the Army ad­e­quate? DCOAS: Though the ini­tial al­lo­ca­tions this year are low, there has never been a con­straint of cap­i­tal bud­get for mod­erni­sa­tion and in­duc­tion of new tech­nolo­gies. Ad­e­quate bud­getary sup­port has been promised for the new schemes as well as com­mit­ted li­a­bil­i­ties. SP’s: What are your views on the DPP? DCOAS: De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) has evolved as a com­pre­hen­sive, rep­re­sen­ta­tive and ro­bust com­pi­la­tion based on the ex­pe­ri­ences gained while un­der­tak­ing de­fence pro­cure­ments in the past. The DPP has re­cently been re­viewed. An im­por­tant as­pect of the re­view is the pre­ferred or­der of cat­e­gori­sa­tion for all cap­i­tal pro­cure­ment cases. In this, “Buy In­dian” and “Buy & Make (In­dian)” will be the pre­ferred cat­e­gori­sa­tion. SP’s: When will Chee­tah and Chetak helicopters be re­placed?

DCOAS: Army Avi­a­tion Corps, since its rais­ing has trans­formed it­self into a full-fledged arm and is poised to fur­ther grow ex­po­nen­tially, in tune with the ca­pa­bil­ity de­vel­op­ment plan of the Army. The in­her­ent knowl­edge of the Army avi­a­tors of ground war­fare; and their affin­ity for troops on ground, makes Army Avi­a­tion a bat­tle win­ning quo­tient for ef­fect-based op­er­a­tions and tac­ti­cal bat­tle cen­tric op­er­a­tions. In the medium and long term, Army Avi­a­tion will have var­ied ca­pa­bil­ity of re­con­nais­sance, util­ity, armed and at­tack helicopters to re­spond swiftly and ef­fec­tively to the Field Force Com­man­der’s re­quire­ment. As re­gards the Chee­tah and Chetak helicopters, Chee­tal and ad­vanced light he­li­copter (ALH) are be­ing in­ducted into the armed forces. SP’s: What is the sta­tus of the pro­ject F-INSAS? DCOAS: Pro­ject fu­ture in­fantry sol­dier as a sys­tem (F-INSAS) per­ceives the sol­dier as a sys­tem—a sit­u­a­tion aware sol­dier ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing mul­ti­ple roles in bat­tle. We have moved from con­cept stage to ex­e­cu­tion stage of the pro­ject. In the ini­tial phase, pri­or­ity is be­ing ac­corded to weapon sys­tems, en­hanc­ing night vi­sion, pro­tec­tion and bat­tle­field mo­bil­ity ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The weapons and equip­ment are at var­i­ous stages of pro­cure­ment process and the pro­ject is pro­gress­ing well.

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