Against the backdrop of a recent conflict with Pakistan post-Pulwama attacks, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will take stock of the critical war-fighting weapon systems and ammunition available with the three defence forces and the progress made by them in doing away with the shortage of these types of equipment.
The Defence Minister will head a meeting this week where the three services will make presentations to him about the weapon systems acquired by them under the emergency provisions and financial powers given to them by the government for buying critical equipment required by them, senior defence sources said.
After the surgical strikes, the government had given financial powers to the Vice Chiefs of the three forces to acquire weapons and ammunition required by them to meet the challenges in case of a sudden war and stock their reserves for it.
Post-Balakot, the government gave emergency powers to the three services to buy the equipment of their choice worth upto Rs 300 crore and get the required weapons within three months of signing the contract.
Under the emergency powers, the Indian Army has chosen to acquire two of the most important weapon systems that it needs in a conflict like the one faced by it during the post-Balakot operations. This includes acquisition of close to around 250 Spike anti-tank guided missiles for the infantry units deployed on the borders and over Rs 250 crore worth of Igla-S man-portable air defence system from Russia.
Likewise, the Indian Air Force has already signed a contract worth over Rs 275 crore for buying close to 300 Spike air to ground stand-off weapons from Israel for taking out terrorist camps like the one in Balakot which was destroyed by it on February 26.
The Indian Air Force has also acquired several air-to-air missiles such as the R-77, R-27 and several other important ones from Russia, France, and other Eastern European nations. A number of contracts have also been signed by the force for doing away with the shortage of spares for the fighter aircraft and other weapon systems.
The Navy is also working on several important projects for meeting its shortages.
In his very first meeting with the defence forces and also in separate meetings with them for specific presentations; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has assured them of his full support and stated that there will be further movement in all the modernization efforts.
Team Rajnath including his personal staff and bureaucrats headed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra has been holding meetings on important issues since day one of his taking over and have addressed several pending issues including the rations issue and have also signed important defence deals for armed force’ modernization.