As the Modi government reaches the end of its current term, one major task it needs to undertake is an honest assessment of Indian military capabilities and requirements and then starts working on effectively implementing these requirements. The assessment will range from the basic needs of the infantry to an audit of the country’s nuclear forces. If such an assessment is conducted, there can be a proper buildup of the country’s force structure to meet the long-term threats to the nation. This article looks at the most pressing issues that the country needs to resolve in its defence modernisation and force application.
Arming the Jawan
First, while the Indian military seeks high technology to wage modern war, there is a need to build the basic capability of a Jawan to engage in conflict. Such engagement involves not just dealing with cross border situations in Pakistan and China but also against internal insurgents and in each of these cases the average Jawan does not have the weaponry or systems that are needed to carry on modern-day warfare. What the Indian soldier needs are four pieces of equipment to wage war more effectively against the challenges he faces: a reliable assault rifle; Kevlar body armour; night vision equipment; and tactical drones.
It is unfortunate that more than 70 years after independence the average Indian soldier does not have a reliable assault rifle. The INSAS rifle has not lived up to expectations