India’s Army Chief Bipin Rawat – in another belligerent statement – has said New Delhi will fight and win the next war with indigenous weapons, reported the Hindustan Times.
Rawat, along with India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, said the inclusion of indigenous technology in Indian armed forces will give India an edge over its ‘adversaries’, a reference to arch-rival Pakistan and China.
The Indian Air Force suffered a humiliating defeat on February 27 when two of its fighters were shot down by the Pakistan Air Force with no loss of friendly aircraft. A day before, the IAF had carried out the botched Balakot strike with Israeli-manufactured precision weapons.
Earlier, the Indian army chief threatened military action to occupy Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). He claimed that the Indian army was ready to occupy AJK and was just waiting for a go-ahead from Narendra Modi’s government.
“Next matter on the Indian army’s agenda was to take over AJK and making it a part of India,” said Rawat belligerently. “The government takes actions in such matters. The institutions of the country will work as per the orders of the government. The army is always ready.”
NSA Doval also stressed that technology can make India more secure.
“We have to make a hard assessment of what we need to give us an edge over our adversaries,” he said. “There is no trophy for the runner up. Either you are better than your adversaries or you are not there at all.”
The Indian armed forces have suffered from chronic maintenance and supply shortages. Earlier this year, the Indian Army had expressed concerns over “faulty and poor quality” ammunition it has received by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board.
According to Jane’s 360, the Indian Army had raised alarm over the quality of varied OFB-supplied munitions for 125 mm guns of the T-72M1, T-90S/MS, and Arjun main battle tanks (MBTs), as well as 155 mm, 130 mm, and 105 mm artillery rounds, in a letter sent to defence production secretary.
The OFB has 412 factories in India and is the main supplier of arms and ammunition to the Indian Army.