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Battling antiquity: The Army’s siege within
IDRW.org ^ | 1/15/14 | Admin

Posted on 01/16/2014 6:19:20 AM PST by Lower Deck

IN a private conversation during the late 1990s, a Defence Attache posted in an embassy of an advanced western democracy in New Delhi, who had also previously studied at India’s Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, remarked that the Indian Army is ‘a first class antiquated Army’.

For the Army as also the other services, the 1990s was a severely difficult decade. There had been minimal modernisation of the armed forces due to a combination of factors that had comprised a severe resource crunch (that had subsequently led to the liberalising of the economy) and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which had been India’s long standing traditional supplier of defence equipment. This had been compounded by a simultaneous atrophy through much of the 1990s in India’s decision making for purchase of armaments following the black listing of Bofors, a Swedish company that had paid kickbacks to middlemen for selling 155 mm howitzer guns to the Indian Army in the mid-1980s.

The resource crunch of the 1990s is since long over. Due to some pragmatic foreign policy changes, India is now sourcing weapons from alternative suppliers, notably Israel, the United States and Europe. Then again, Russia has since managed to re-assemble and re-integrate its military industrial complex that had earlier got fragmented with the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Yet, there has not been much change in the Indian Army’s ‘antiquity’ notwithstanding that following the 1999 Kargil War New Delhi has embarked on a major defence modernisation programme that entails purchase of armaments and weapon platforms worth billions of dollars, mostly from foreign vendors. Rather, if anything, there seems to have been a steady and gradual decline in both the Army’s conventional capability and its internal health both of which are a cause for serious concern.

(Excerpt) Read more at idrw.org ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: asia; china; india
A very interesting article on the Indian army and the problems it's facing, especially timely as the U.S. moves closer to India as a bulwark to China. Some of the problems, like weapons and material, can be overcome quickly. Others, like corruption and discipline and the poor quality of officer candidates, can't.
1 posted on 01/16/2014 6:19:20 AM PST by Lower Deck
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To: Lower Deck

I wonder how much of the lack of equipment and ammo for the Indian Army is due to money thrown down the sewer for indigenous weapons, like the Arjun, and big spending for glamorous systems like the Soviet/Russian carrier, ballistic missiles, and nuclear submarines.


2 posted on 01/16/2014 6:25:27 AM PST by C19fan
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To: Lower Deck

From what I observed there they are woefully short of a modern effective armed force.
A lot of shiny toys bought from other countries, to be sure, but one needs more than that, especially if Anyone is considering China


3 posted on 01/16/2014 6:27:05 AM PST by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: Lower Deck

India’s main problem is economic mismanagement. It has 1/4 China’s GDP despite never having gone through the trauma of 30 years of central economic planning. Until India truly liberalizes its economy and stops whaling on foreign investors, its economic growth will remain stunted, and that will limit its ability to spend real money on its military.


4 posted on 01/16/2014 7:00:03 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: C19fan
I wonder how much of the lack of equipment and ammo for the Indian Army is due to money thrown down the sewer for indigenous weapons, like the Arjun, and big spending for glamorous systems like the Soviet/Russian carrier, ballistic missiles, and nuclear submarines.

I'm sure it's a major reason for India's troubles. It's not just the Arjun. HAL has spent 15 years developing an intermediate trainer for the IAF and they've failed. So the air force is looking abroad. The carrier cost them over twice what they planned. But they have no choice. India is very aware that they are almost completely dependent on foreign suppliers for arms and equipment, but haven't been able to overcome internal corruption and inept decision making.

5 posted on 01/16/2014 3:03:34 PM PST by Lower Deck
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