Army intensifies modernisation drive with focus on surveillance, night fighting

The Indian Army, in its modernisation drive, is focusing on long-range weapons, night fighting capabilities, multi-capacity drones, and early detection and targeting systems.

As per the latest figures, as many as 93 modernisation projects of the Army are at various stages with procurement worth Rs 1.37 lakh crore ($18.4 billion) under progress.

Further with the emphasis on indigenisation, 19 out of 22 new procurements in the current financial year are made from indigenous suppliers.

“The objective (of the modernisation) was to address operational deficiencies, even as the rebalancing of additional forces and infrastructure upgrades on the northern borders were fast-tracked to counter the Chinese threat,” a source said.

Ongoing plans include a large incorporation of artillery guns, advanced Pinaka rocket regiments, long-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles as well as loitering munition systems, runway-independent remotely piloted aircraft systems and high-volume firepower with enhanced surveillance and weapons detection capability, the sources said.

The Army plans to order another 200 K-9 ‘Vajra’ self-propelled howitzers after inducting 100 of them under the joint project of L&T and South Korean Hanwha Defense. With a 28-38 km keystrike range, the Army has deployed some of these 155 mm/52-caliber guns in Ladakh, sources added.

The Army has also equipped the two regiments with the ‘Sharang’ artillery system, an improved version of the old Soviet-origin 130 mm guns, with another in the way.

DRDO has set up five Young Scientist Laboratories to enhance strategic capabilities and develop advanced technology product.

Another focus area for the military is “future-ready mechanised platforms”, with advanced weapons, night fighting and cross-country capabilities from desert to mountainous terrain.

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