Defence of India's territory and interests is of foremost importance. There is no space for any laxity when it comes to keeping our armed forces in top condition. We are a unique country that has battlefields in hilly regions, snow-capped mountains as well as in forests and a variety of other geographical conditions. The challenges around us are many and we have some of the finest armed forces in the world.
Indian Army is the fourth largest army in the world. Indian Navy is a formidable presence in the Indian Ocean region and Indian Air Force has some mean machines that can tilt the balance of a battle in our favour in no time.
Here's what our armed forces need from Union Budget 2020:
- Indian Army is in need of modern assault rifles. A similar need is felt for bulletproof jackets and artillery. In addition to this, the Indian Army needs light utility helicopters. Soldiers of the Indian Army defend the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen glacier. Light utility aircrafts are crucial in such terrains.
- The army is also battling to get assault rifles for its soldiers along with its requirement of light utility helicopters, a lifeline for soldiers posted at the world’s highest battlefield—the inhospitable Siachen Glacier of the Himalayas.
- Indian Air Force has lost the edge it had two decades ago, belive some experts. At the time of Kargil conflict, the Indian Air Force had carried out decisive operations that resulted in Operation Vijay truly turning into a victory. However, Pakistan has caught up now and especially after Balakot airstrike, has procured new Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C). This means that Pakistan now 10 AEW&C aircraft fleets. India has just 4.
- Aim of the Indian Air Force is to be able to wage war on two fronts (China and Pakistan). However, with the current number of squadrons Indian Air Force (IAF) has, such a battle wiLL be a strain on Indian resources.
- Indian Navy urgently needs minesweeper vessels. It only has two as of now.
- Indian Navy is still the most dominant navy in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean Region. Such is the power of the Indian Navy that Indian warships provide security to international trade routes in the Indian Ocean and keep pirates coming from countries like Somalia at bay. However, China is offering a challenge to Indian naval presence in our own backyard. China is planning to have 10 aircraft carriers by the year 2049 while the Indian Navy is finding it tough to push for a third aircraft carrier.
- Last but not the least, funding is required to take care of our soldiers' salaries in a more effective way.
All of this does not mean that Indian armed forces have become weak. This is definitely not the case. However, India needs to look at modernisation needs of its armed forces. All eyes now are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she presents Budget 2020
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