Austin wrote:The FICV and New MBT will definitely come but the time lines will be stretched in decades , after all the T and BMP will have to be replaced eventually.
Unless Army can increase the OPEX ratio from 87:13 to 60:40 where 40 % is CAPEX they cannot plan much less buy any thing new in numbers.
GOI should support the IA Chief plan , IA can put plans but MOD/GOI might reject it , The other option is to significantly increase defense spending to 3 % of GDP which wont happen any time soon
Not the first time Army is trying to reduce the flab. but I hope they have thought it through. Last time before Kargil 50000 troops were reduced by the way of suppressing vacancies. Post Kargil, IA swelled by 150000 personnel.
Anyhow the impact of current planned reduction is expected to only 6000Cr per year. I don't think then gonna make much of a dent. I don't think IA and MoD are on different pages given the start of reduction in flab was by MP but he concentrated on reduction on the non-core branches like Farms (Why the f IA even had farms till now..?
) and MRO to some extent. A big area to cut the flab is on MRO side. I think not just IA but even IAF should try to reduce all MRO related activities to civilians. Pvt companies can do the work at much more cost effective way. Only the on-base Maintenance work should be kept in-house. Second is of coarse Man power, but its better that IA itself takes care of this part rather than MoD forcing something on them. The current IGB based restructuring is trying to make some impact. But I feel its less than needed and hopefully next COAS will carry forward the work.
Regarding the Defense budget, GOI spends whopping $15B merely on pensions. This figure is not included in normal defense budget. Including this and other such heads, the Defense expenditure is slightly above 3%. So even if we see some manpower reduction, its gonna take decades to have much of an impact of it on overall OPEX for GOI. I don't think the defense budget which is what we typically take as Defense budget (that is excluding pension and other such expenses) will even go to 3% in foreseeable future. The only true way to improve situation on CAPEX side is broad scale indigenization where we leverage our lower production cost and punch as per our PPP and not absolute GDP in USD. Until we keep importing majority of our equipment, we will always be spending more like a 2-3T economy. With across the spectrum indigenization we can spend like a 10T economy with the same budget.