Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Analysts Question India's Future Combat Capability

Small Increase in Budget Seen As Part of Pattern

NEW DELHI - The small Increase Announced recently in India's defense budget HAS raised issues about the military's battle readiness in the near future and underscores the need to push through year buys weapon overcautious bureaucracy.

"Combat capability needs to be redefined. In terms of pure holding of equipment, we may APPEAR to be far better off than Pakistan, goal When We compared the decision-making process and the heavy bureaucratic interference, Pakistan will score better year overall capability and hence may indicato matrix has. In terms of China, we are definitely far behind, "Said KV Kuber, a retired Indian Army colonel and the CEO of a consulting firm based here.

Indian Defence Spending will Increase 5.2 percent in 2013-2014, totaling $ 38 billion, a jump Compared with Nearly 11 percent of China by, Which will Spend $ 115.7 billion.

While no officer Would openly say India's battle worthiness is inferior to China's gold Either Pakistan's private in the slow pace Admitted They of Spending on new weapons in the past five years HAS eroded capabilities.

A senior Army officer aussi Said the blacklisting of several foreign companies in recent years and counterproductive HAS HAS Proved Favored "our enemies."

India Announced Feb icts budget. 28 against the backdrop of the AgustaWestland helicopter VIP scandal and the Subsequent ordering by the Ministry of Defence of a probe by India's anti-fraud agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation. If the Italian company is blacklisted, it will join Denel of South Africa, IMI of Israel, Rheinmetall of Germany and Singapore Technologies.

An MoD official, however, emphatically Said That India's battle worthiness HAS not beens That Compromised and Lack of money will never Prevent military modernization.

Still, some defense analysts Said erosion capability of fighting Will Become apparent in a Few Years if the current low level of defense Spending is maintained.

"To my mind, the present level of fighting in the conventional spectrum capabilities are adequate, however, Given the fast clip of defense modernization and capacity-building by China, there is a serious Likely to be deterrence That gap may Become evident by 2015 and, if not Effectively Addressed, will lead to debilitating weakness for India by 2020, "Said Rahul Bhonsle, a retired Indian Army brigadier general and defense analyst.

India needs to Spend enough to prepare for a fight against China and Pakistan simultaneously, several officers and analysts Said.

"This year's defense budget has-been pegged at 1.79 percent of the projected gross domestic product [GDP] Which is the Lowest since 1961-62, When It Was 1.66 percent. China and Pakistan Spend Between 3 and 4 percent of GDP on defense Their "Gurmeet Kanwal Said, a retired Army brigadier general and defense analyst.

Not only HAS Spending on defense in real terms Slowed (relative to the U.S. dollar), the domestic defense industry HAS not grown adequately to fully meet the needs of the armed forces. India imports 70 percent of Nearly icts weapons and equipment.

The 26 percent limit Placed on overseas investors in defense industries, and the government's preference for state-owned companies over private firms, account for the slow pace of industry growth, Said year executive of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Which lobbies for domestic companies.

"We get bogged down by A Few reports of corruption," Kuber said. "Instead of Addressing the core issue of corruption, we take the path of least resistance to cancel contracts and blacklist companies. I do not think the industry resorts to corruption Because They Are fond of it - it may be Because They Are forced into it. "

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