In the month following the Pulwama attack which killed more than 40 CRPF jawans the Narendra Modi government has expedited several key defence projects for modernising the forces. MyNation scans how the decisions made by the ministry of defence in the past one month is going to make the forces more muscular.
New Delhi: The Pulwama suicide attack, which was the deadliest strike on security establishment killing more than 40 CRPF jawans and, the series of incidents following it came as an alarm for the Indian defence forces. In just one month, the Defence Ministry has given a go-ahead to several key projects and procurements.
Post Pulwama attack the Narendra Modi government has expedited several key defence projects for modernising the forces. The ministry has been granting proposals which will make the Indian Army more powerful and well-equipped to tackle any misadventure by our enemy forces.
MyNation scans how the decisions made by the ministry of defence in the past one month is going to make the forces more muscular.
AK-203: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Indo-Russia Rifles Ltd. plant at Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Korwa in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh from where 7, 50,000 units of made in India AK-103 assault rifles will be produced. In order to modernise the security forces who are guarding the Indian borders against Pakistan and China, the Narendra Modi led government has hastened the process of delivering these assault rifles.
MPATGM: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been carrying out back-to-back successful tests of indigenous weaponry. DRDO has carried out a total of fives tests of their homegrown modern weapon system. In March, DRDO successfully test fired indigenously developed, low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MP-ATGM).
MPATGM is incorporated with advanced features including state-of-the-art Imaging Infrared Radar (IIR) Seeker with integrated avionics. It has a strike range of 2.5 km. It weighs around 14.5 kg to maintain man-portability.
Pinaka: DRDO also carried out three successful tests of the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system. These tests are significant as it boosts the high precision, reliable and capable weapons system of the Indian army. Three successful trials were conducted. The role of Guided Pinaka is key to avoiding any collateral damage. Pinaka is a rocket system and has the capability to nullify the targeted area. The Indian Army used Pinaka Mark I in the 1999 Kargil war.
Sig-Sauer: In February, India signed a fast-tracked contract for procurement of 72,400 assault rifles from a US-based company Sig Sauer. All72,400 rifles will be delivered within 12 months of the date of signing of the contract. That means, in the next 12 months, armed forces will have the latest US made SIG716-G2 assault rifles from Sig Sauer which will replace the INSAS rifles. These assault rifles are being used by the US forces as well as several European countries. The new rifles will be given to troops in the conflict zone near the bordering areas of China and Pakistan.
Multi-Mode Hand Grenade: A nod to procure 10 lakh multi-mode hand grenades was given by the ministry in March. The speciality of such grenades is that these grenades are made in India. They have been produced by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Presently, the Indian Army has HE-36 grenades in its arsenal. These are made by Ordnance Factory Board. The project undertaken by DRDO is worth over Rs 500 crore.
Dhanush: Adding more firepower to Indian artillery, the Indian Army will commission the first batch of six Dhanush howitzer guns. India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun Dhanush is also referred to as ‘desi Bofors’. The made-in-India gun was showcased for the first time also at the Republic Day parade. The Army has ordered a total of 110 such guns which would play a big role in modernising its artillery. The Army had been desperately looking for 155-mm howitzers for more than a decade now.
Modern rifles: The elite force of the Indian Army is set to become deadlier as India has decided to procure assault rifles, ammunition, and several other specialised equipments from the United States. Para (SF), Marcos and Garud commandos are the special forces of India Army, Navy and Air force respectively. Presently, India Army is already using American M4A1 assault rifles. Moreover, the VZ. 58 Pi, PM Md.90 and Tavor are also being used by the special forces for counter-terrorist operations in India. These are manufactured and imported from countries such as Russia, Israel and Czechoslovakia.
Chinook helicopters: The IAF has commissioned first four of its 15 Chinook helicopters in their fleet in Chandigarh on March 25. The induction of these helicopters is bound to make the armies of Pakistan and Chinese uncomfortable as it will give swift access to the forces. These choppers, which can manoeuvre in narrow areas, will make it easy for army personnel to carry artillery guns to difficult-high altitude terrains. The commissioning of the heavy -lift Chinook helicopter is also significant as it can transport newly inducted M777 Howitzer guns in high-altitude area near the borders of Pakistan and China.
Spice up Sukhoi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to power its Russian made Sukhoi-30 fighter jets with the Israeli SPICE-2000 bombs. This is the same bomb which was dropped by Mirage-2000 to raze the terror camps in Pakistan on February 26. The move by the IAF came a few days after the terror attack on a fleet of CRPF troops in which more than 40 jawans were killed in Pulwama. This will enhance the firepower capacity of Sukhoi-30s it will be equipped with SPICE-2000. Currently, only Mirage-2000 fighter jets are capable of delivering these bombs.
HAROP drone: To enhance its unmanned warfare capability, the defence ministry has given a nod to acquire 54 HAROP attack drones from Israel. This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is very effective in combat, looks like it has been imported straight from the star trek series. HAROP is a little different from the usual drones as it doesn’t deliver a rocket or bomb, but becomes ammunition once it reaches the target.
These are among the deadliest UAVs around the world as they can load 20-kilogram ammunition and are very accurate. They can remain in the air for about six hours, which makes it very efficient during combat.
Three training ships: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given its approval for the procurement of three cadet training ships for the Indian Navy, which would be utilised to provide basic sea training for officer cadets including women officer undertrainees. The ships would be capable of undertaking hospital ship duties, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, undertaking search and rescue (SAR) missions and non-combatant evacuation operations.
111 utility Helicopter: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in February kicked off the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for the Indian Navy. This acquisition, estimated to be worth Rs 21,738 crore, is the first one being processed under the new Strategic Partner (SP) procurement model.
The SP model envisages the indigenous manufacture of major defence platforms by an Indian company, which will collaborate with a foreign OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in India.
Russian Submarine: India and Russia in March inked a deal worth three billion dollars for a nuclear-powered submarine for the Indian Navy. The submarine will be acquired on a lease of ten years to enable the Indian officers and sailors to gain operational experience in handling such complex machines. At present, India has one Russian submarine on lease. The Navy had acquired a submarine in the 1980s too from Russia.
As of now, India has 12-14 conventional submarines powered by diesel and two nuclear-powered submarines, including indigenously manufactured INS Arihant and INS Chakra. The latter was inducted on a lease for ten years some years back and the lease term is expected to end in 2022.
Last Updated 2:25 PM IST