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September 2011: Exclusive Interview of General V K Singh COAS with our Executive Editor Maj Gen (Dr) G D Bakshi.

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“The overall focus is to develop our military capabilities, that can take care of the envisaged threats and challenges, which may manifest in the foreseeable future. The process entails optimisation of our operational preparedness and functional capabilities, through upgradation of our concepts and technologies as also reorganisation and restructuring of our formations. The process will be suitably complemented by fielding, theatrised combat as well as logistic support systems.”


“Our government has taken adequate steps, for large scale infrastructure development in our border areas, to meet the security requirements, as also improving the connectivity, to facilitate overall development of the border areas”

“Post the establishment of HQ IDS, the Indian Armed Forces, have embarked on the path to achieve “jointness”. Conceptualisation and promulgation of joint doctrines, including the visualisation of Limited War against a Nuclear Backdrop, forms an important facet of our integrated approach.”

“The moral and ethical value system in the Armed Forces, is not an abstract concept. In fact, it is the very foundation, upon which, the entire edifice of the Service organisation has been built.”

“Certain measures have also been undertaken by Army HQ, to ensure better intake, such as improving effectiveness of Service Selection Boards, to ensure a higher reporting rate as also optimal utilisation of training capacity by provision of additional funds and manpower at training academies.”

 

Critical role of Land Forces: VItal and urgent need to plug gaps

Future conventional conflict on the Indian sub-continent will in all probability result from the ongoing low-intensity limited war on the Line of Control (LoC) with its neighbours. So the modernisation of the Land Forces is required right from the infrastructure development, improved surveillance system and maintaining the right balance between the state-of-the-art, current and obsolescent technologies.

The Land Forces have a role across all types of terrain and combat scenarios. Their basic role may remain the same, but that has to be evolved with the changes in capability, technology, infrastructure, equipment and eventually reorienting the training, equipment and policies to meet these new challenges.

A broader mandate is required for the Mechanised Forces in the future. In the prevailing scenario of strategic uncertainty in our neighbourhood, cross border terrorism and infiltration has become the primary threat. India is continuously facing serious threats and challenges from its neighbours for the past many years. To tackle this problem, a large army is still required to be maintained with a special emphasis on introducing cutting edge technologies with state-of-the-art weapons to counter this inveterate problem. A high degree of preparedness and operational readiness are required due to cross border terrorism and boundary disputes with our neighbours. At the same time heavy capital investment for the modernisation and upgrdation of the Land Forces is required to handle the changing requirements of the modern warfare.

The defence and security environment facing our nation is in a state of constant flux. There is a need for close monitoring of the changes taking place within and outside, especially in our close neighbourhood. We have to constantly review our military preparedness based on these changes. The Land Forces need to constantly evolve, develop and adapt to the changing “capability-cum-threat” spectrum, in order to remain ‘operationally relevant’ at all points of time and to maintain the deterrence value.

It is a well-established fact that artillery firepower had turned the tide and eventually paved the way for victory during the Kargil conflict. Despite the lessons learnt in Kargil, modernisation of the artillery has continued to lag behind.

The Indian army is extensively engaged in ongoing internal and counter-insurgency operations and simultaneously needs to prepare itself for a future border conflict, which may spill over to a large conventional war. In keeping with these requirements, army has to upgrade the internal security and counter-insurgency capabilities of infantry battalions to be prepared to tackle any problem caused by our neighbours. Our Land Forces should be well equipped with modern technologies and cutting edge capabilities of the modern world to tackle any conflicts or wars forced upon us.

 
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