India’s defences capabilities obsolete
India faces embarrassment prior to a summit of BRIC countries due to a leaked letter stating India’s defence capabilities are outdated despite budget increases. The letter, sent by Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the tank fleet was “devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks,” that there are “large scale voids” in surveillance in a region facing terror threats, and warned that air defences are 97% obsolete.
The existence of the letter was confirmed in parliament yesterday by Indian Defence Minister AK Antony, who described the letter as “extremely disturbing” as it reinforces international views that India is not prepared for the rise of China’s military power. This news comes just days after the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute declared India to be the world’s largest importer of arms surpassing China, accounting for 10% of the worlds global arms imports, with an annual defence budget of $40bn. Defence analyst Uday Bhaskar told reporters, “Fiscal allocations… tell a partials story. Creating appropriate military capacity requires a certain degree of political commitment and institutional integrity that appear elusive in the Indian context.”