abhik wrote: How sir does one go about planning with no inkling of how much they can actually to spend in the first place? If the MoF has not approved the 5-year plan etc. it is not obliged to fund it either. Hence there is no way to evaluate whether the planned acquisitions are affordable or not. Is this so "illogical"?
I'm at actually loss here - why are you not able to understand a simple concept?
You're making this as a linear exercise while it is not. Just look at some examples try and think how these come about:
- Projection by Navy to have X number of surface and sub-surface combatants by a certain time frame?
- IAF projecting requirement for 73 IJT and 8 Squadrons of Akash SAM? Or, 126 number/07 Squadrons of MMRCA?
- The multitude of radars entering service with all the three Services?
- Or the number of Nuclear Submarines planned?
Let us take this up with an example -
Take the example of Mechanized Infantry in the Army.
- Based on certain threat assessment, Indian Army has been authorized a number of Mechanized Infantry Regiments and their attendant infantry combat vehicles and support system.
- These systems have been in service since mid-80s and over the years we've locally produced BMP-2.
- To keep pace with the technology and threat level, we've continued to upgrade these ICVs; a very comprehensive upgrade is planned which I think will be the last one.
- Army knows that starting by the end of this century, it will need to start replacing these vehicles.
- Based on the threat perception and advancement in technology, it would project the number required and configuration thereof. Even if the number of Mechanized Infantry battalion do not go beyond what exists and has been sanctioned for near future, the number thrown around is 2,500 vehicles requiring to be replaced.
- Based on various cost estimates prevailing in the international market it would be able to make a projection in terms of costs involved. I expect the Army to ask for maximum amount at this stage.
Now comes the MOF in picture - MOD takes the requirement to the MOF and in its wisdom, MOF agrees to only 0.8X of the projected cost estimate. Couple of things can happen at this point:
(1) IA reduced the number of systems required but sticks to per unit specification (highly unlikely)
(2) It reduces the specifications and settles for lesser bells and whistles.
So, the final approved plan might or might not represent the original proposal made by the Services.
The acquisition of A-330 MRTT by IAF is a classic live example of this - MOF turned downed the requirement based on XYZ factors including cost. But that was only after IAF projected a requirement.
In 1985, IA had made Army Plan 2000 which was approved by the GOI of the day - but nothing moved on the ground due to deteriorating financial position. And we had the lost decade of 90s.
The entire exercise to purchase or develop something starts with Acceptance of Necessity (AON) - where it has to be proved that the product is required to begin with.
Sorry the Babus in the Services don't get a free pass on everything, else you'd have to give one for the T-90, AW, Tatra, Adarsh etc.
The free pass is in terms of what they want - the GOI gets it for them either from foreign country or DRDO/DPSU. The requirement of an equipment is established by the Services which can be fulfilled by different options if they exist of we have Javelin kind of situation.