The fact that much has been done for the Indian defence forces which were neglected for decades is indisputable. It is also true that things will only get even better from here.. The last five years saw the implementation of One Rank One Pension, the acceleration of important defence procurements which were pending for decades, provision of basic facilities like bullet-proof jackets and helmets to soldiers, something that were not given by the UPA administration. Many such measures can be listed.
As decades of negligence is being corrected systematically, the process is unfolding as the days are passing. In some instances, initiatives taken in the Modi government 1.0 are bearing fruit now, while other instances show that there is a continuous thrust on the part of the government to modernize the Indian armed forces.
Two recent developments have given the forces crucial additional capability.
Apache Attack Helicopters Are Here
A major upgradation has happened in the Indian Air Force on July 27, 2019, as it received first four of the 22 Apache attack helicopters from the US’s Boeing.
In fact, the formal induction of Apache Guardian helicopter took place on May 2019 when Air Marshal AS Butola, representing the Indian Air Force had accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility in the US in the presence of representatives from US Government. The deal was signed in September 2015.
India is using Russian origin Mi 35 for several years and the Apache attack helicopters will provide much needed upgradation.
The IAF had these things to say about the Apache:
- The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain.
- The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
- These helicopters have the ability to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking.
It is worth mentioning here that India has received four of the 15 Chinook heavy lift choppers earlier this year from the same company.
Integrated Battle Groups in the Offing
- IBGs are a mix of infantry, artillery, air defence, signals and engineers, backed by attack helicopters.
- They will be able to mobilise within 12- 48 hrs based on the location.
- Media reports are not sure about the number of IBGs but separate groups for mountain and desert situations are expected.
In the ever-evolving story of strengthening of our armed forces, Modi government is time and again reiterating its commitment to make India militarily stronger through actions. Two developments mentioned here testify this trend.
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