In 7 years, 44 per cent of the Indian Army’s weapons will be state-of-the-art. Currently, Indian Army has 12-15 per cent of ‘state-of-the-art' equipment

In a telling commentary of the rapid infusion of technology and modernization of its weaponry, about 44 per cent of the Indian Army’s weapon systems will be ‘state-of-the-art’ by 2030—a 29-32 per cent jump from now.

Indian Army’s chief General Manoj Pande said: “In any force at any point of time, you will have ‘vintage’ equipment, another set will be ‘current’ and the third will be ‘state-of-art.’ In our current profile, as it stands today, I would say it is about 45 per cent ‘vintage’, 41 per cent ‘current’ and 12-15 per cent ‘state-of-the-art'.”

“But by 2030, because of the modernization plan, we will reach a figure of close to 35 per cent ‘current’ and 44 per cent ‘state-of-the-art.’ That is what introduction of technology including the introduction of niche technology will achieve,” the chief of 12-lakh strong Indian Army added.

This year is being looked upon as the year of transformation for the Indian Army.

General Pande was responding to media queries during the customary press conference in New Delhi before the Army Day event commences in Bangalore on Sunday.

One reason for the rapid technology infusion and modernisation that has really picked up at a blistering pace in the past two years is the increasing assertiveness by China particularly on the Line of Actual Control which is the de facto border.

China’s belligerence caused bloody fisticuffs between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in several deaths.

On the border, Gen Pande said, “Though unpredictable, the situation at the northern borders is stable and under control. We have been able to resolve five of the seven issues on the table in the talk as our preparedness is of a very high level and we have enough reserves to deal with any contingency.”

On the plan to mass produce the cutting-edge AK-203 rifle, Gen Pande said by March 2023, about 5,000 AK-203 rifles will be produced.

The AK-203 is being produced in a factory at Korwa, in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, by the Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL). It is a collaborative affair between the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which will invest 50.5 per cent with the Kalashnikov Concern, and Rosoboronexport contributing 42 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

While the plan is to produce a total of 6,00,000 AK-203 rifles for the Indian Army in 128 months or slightly more than 10 years, about 70,000 will be produced in the next 32 months where the indigenous content will be up to 70 per cent. And after this tranche of 70,000, each AK-203 rifle produced will be 100 per cent indigenous, the Army chief elaborated.