Amid tension with Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, several experts had pointed out that Indian armed forces have poor inventory. In wake of such scenario, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday passed a crucial defence project. According to news agency ANI, Nirmala Sitharaman-led defence ministry has cleared a major project for the Indian Army. The project will result in acquisition of 10 lakh 'made in India' multi-mode hand grenades. The new hand grenades will replace the existing inventory. The more than Rs 500 crore proposal is critical as the government has already taken care of the main personal weapon requirements of the Army soldiers by signing two contracts for modern rifles.
“A proposal for buying 10 lakh hand grenades from an Indian firm would be considered by the Defence Ministry at a high-level meeting to be chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman this week,” government sources had told ANI.
In 2017, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had said that around 40% of the Indian Army’s ammunition will not last more than 10 days in a war. The CAG report also noted that a Defence Ministry plan chalked out in 2013 to meet the deficit in the Army’s artillery by 2019 had not been implemented yet. Some of the Army Headquarters’ requests for ammunition, which date back to 2009, have not been acted on yet either, it added.
Before this, Sitharaman had approved the first batch of reforms in the Army which include relocation of 229 officers from the Army headquarters, creation of a new post of deputy chief for military operations and strategic planning, and setting up new wings for vigilance and human rights issues, official sources said. Finalised after 12 independent studies, the transformative reforms in the Army are being implemented to make the 1.3 million-strong force leaner and meaner as well as to enhance its combat capabilities.
The defence minister has approved the first batch of long-pending reform measures in the Army, the sources said.
They said the number of officers being moved out is 20 per cent of the total officers in the Army headquarters in the National Capital, and they be deployed in forward locations along the borders with China and Pakistan.