Deep DivesIndia

Has India’s military modernization come to a halt?

Asia Times 'Deep Dives' looks at the proposed modernization of India's military, which seems to have come to a halt due to a shortage of funds

August 23, 2018 5:14 PM (UTC+8)
Indian Army paratroopers in a joint exercise with the US military. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

India’s military modernization program seems to have come to a halt due to a shortage of funds. Earlier this year, the Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Sarath Chand, told the standing committee of Parliament that there was no money in the budget to pay for existing modernization schemes.

India has traditionally prepared for a two-front war, with Pakistan to its west, China to the north and the east, and an armed insurgency in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. India’s military is still largely equipped with armaments from the 1970s.

For decades it has been seeking a major upgrade to deal with rapid modernization of its traditional rivals. The Doklam crisis in 2017 forced India and China into a 72-day confrontation. But the Narendra Modi-led government has decided to shelve plans to set up a Mountain Strike Corps, and reduce budgetary support for the planned modernization of the military.

The first part of Asia Times ‘Deep Dives’ examined whether the Indian military was being politicized. In the second part, Lieutenant General Prakash Katoch (Retired) speaks about the state of India’s preparedness for war.

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