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Lecturrete Topic 127 - Modernization in Military


Modernization of the Armed Forces is a complex process, which includes cardinal changes of the material capacities in order to accomplish all the strategic objectives.

The Armed Forces aim at increasing the qualitative levels through their transformation into a professional force, well-trained ,equipped with contemporary systems of the technique and armament, modern and interoperable tools as well as capable of to accomplish operation of a larger spectrum. The process of modernization of the AF serves to this aim.

Modernization with Equipments

Modernization in every NATO country is expression of the growth of the national ambition to have a valuable Armed Force, to fulfil the constitutional mission for participation in operations to support peace and missions that support article 5 of NATO.

Ministry of Defence has considered the Modernization Process an important task that comes from the government program and the aim to be important part of NATO. After a transition period, where the Armed Forces have been supported only within the frame of help from other countries, there are some years since the Ministry of Defence has considered Modernization a necessity. This attitude of the Ministry of Defence has influenced the growth of the budget percentage of the Ministry and its participation in missions.

- Increase in the budget of defence at 2 % GDP some years ago, has created the possibilities of investment in the field of modernization in three types of Forces.

- Armed Forces (AF) have reached the level of participation of contingencies in missions led by United Nations, NATO, EU and other coalitions. 

Modernization of Ground Forces

Investments in the ground forces have aimed at supporting the military forces to participate in missions led by NATO, UN, EU, or other coalitions, such as the mission in Iraq. It also aims at the support of the priority units according to Force objectives accepted by our country within the frame of fulfilling NATO standards.

Some of the contracts signed within this framework are:

-    Purchase of equipments MADM,

-    Purchase of equipments for EOD (engineering) company,

-    Tactical Communication with Radios,

-    Field Supplies,

-    Operational Centres of movable Tactics,

-    Purchase of light armament and munitions,

-    Purchase of armament for OMLT missions.

Current Scenario of the Defence Sector


India is gradually moving toward indigenisation in the defence sector, it is only now that India has got its own indigenous aircraft, Tejas.

India is lagging behind in manufacturing of its own engines, avionics and self-sufficient radars.

A lot of progress in design and development of different parts of aircrafts has been made but when it comes to a compact aircraft system or a weapon system, India is a seeker not a manufacturer.


The Indian army is still woefully short on looking upon manufacturing of armaments like tanks.

India has made a great breakthrough in terms of artillery guns but the technological edge required to modernise its equipment has not been touched yet.


The navy ought to be given more importance than it has been given as of now as there are immense challenges at the sea; the biggest threat is China.

The Navy has very serious capability gaps; as per the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan by 2027, India ought to have about 200 ships but there is still a lot to cover to reach the target.

However, the cause is not mainly funding but procedural delays or some self imposed restrictions.

However, the navy ensures that it has state of the art SONARs and Radars. Also, many of the ships contain a high amount of indigenous content.

Initiatives for Modernisation of the Defence Sector

  • Capital Acquisition Budget (CAB): The Defence Ministry has decided to earmark around 64% of its modernisation funds under the capital acquisition budget for 2021-22, a sum of Rs 70,221 crore for purchases from the domestic sector.

  • For FY 2020-21, the capital budget allocation for domestic vendors was made at 58%, an amount of Rs 52,000 crore.

  • MSMEs and Startups: This increase in CAB will have a positive impact on enhanced domestic procurement, having a multiplier effect on the industries including MSMEs and start-ups.

  • The Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) started by the defence ministry shall be lauded; over 1200 MSMEs participated in the fourth edition of the DISC in 2020.

  • Self-Reliant and Make-in India: It would also increase employment in the defence sector. Hence, it is a welcome step towards encouraging Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Make in India.

  • The government in its negative list, has included light combat helicopters, artillery guns; these items will not be imported by anyone thus encouraging self-reliant India.

  • The SRIJAN portal has also been launched to facilitate the two initiatives. .

  • Other Efforts: The government has taken initiatives like de-licensing, deregulation, export promotion, encouraging FDI etc to liberalise the defence industry.

  • In the last 3 years, 118 of the total 191 projects which have been sanctioned have gone to the Indian industries.

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