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Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Blackjay, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild IDF NewBie

    Nov 16, 2016
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    New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has quietly scaled down India’s war readiness from 40 days to 10 days of the intense conflict in a new policy cleared on December 30 on the basis of the assumption that the future conflicts would be short, swift and sudden.

    The new policy envisages all three armed forces to fully stock up weapons, ammunition and missiles and ensure all radars functional that should last a minimum of 10 days of intense conflict. In military parlance, this is called Minimum Accepted Risk Level (MARL).

    The Vice-Chiefs of the three services have been given adequate fiscal powers to maintain this level of preparedness to overcome the handicap of the slow procurements as the government does not want any chance for the military failing for want of any supplies. The Indian Army’s Vice-Chief has been given the authority under this policy to spend up to Rs 200 cr for ammunition procurement, in consultation with the internal financial auditor. The Naval Vice-Chief is authorised expenses up to Rs 80 crore to repair ships and submarines.

    The Defence Ministry sources said the new policy was drawn up in consultation with the Armed Forces following a CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report in 2015, expressing shock over the low level of the war readiness. The CAG had slammed the dismal management of ammunition in the Army, noting that there was total “disregard” of the policy to hold ammunition for 40 days of “intense” fighting under the war wastage reserves (WWR). It warned that India cannot sustain war beyond 15-20 days due to the crippling shortages in its ammunition stocks.

    Stocking of 125 of the 170 different types of ammunition was not enough for even 20 days of war-fighting or “minimum acceptable risk level” requirements. “Further, in 50% of the types of ammunition, the holding was critical or less than 10 days in March 2013,” said CAG. As the situation stands today, the required 40-day WWR may not be possible even by the target of achieving it in 2019.

    The officials justified scaling down of the stocks to stand 10 days of intense war. They said the WWR of 40 days of intense war is very expensive to maintain, particularly since the ammunition being an expendable commodity with a fixed shelf life. Instead of maintaining stocks at a full-fledged war requirement level, it was felt that better should be to maintain “optimal” stocks as per the security contingencies and create capacity to ramp up production whenever needed.

    It was explained that the new policy does not mean reducing the higher stock levels of most of the ammunitions. Officials said the target of 40 days of WWR has not been shelved. It shall be on track as usual but within that the 10-day benchmarking will be the new norm.

    The 2015 CAG report said India lacked readiness for any war because the Ordnance Factory Board was failing to meet the requirements due to its limited production capacity while the import route was also proving to be “unreasonably” slow. “In 17 import cases (total imports worth Rs 16,594 crore) for which acceptance of necessity was accorded in July 2013, no contract could be concluded by December 2014,” it said.


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