After years of deliberations, the Army has finalised a mega Rs 15,000-crore project under which a range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously to overcome long delays in imports and address the problem of a dwindling stockpile.
The overall cost of the project has been pegged at Rs 15,000 crore and we have set a specific target for the next 10 years in terms of the volume of ammunition to be produced. Initially, ammunition for a range of rockets, air defence system, artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles, grenade launchers and various other field weapons would be produced under “strict timelines.”
The production targets would be revised based on the result of the first phase of the implementation of the programme. The sources indicated the broad contours of the project were discussed at a conference of the Army’s top commanders here April. The initiative is seen as the first serious attempt by the government to address growing concerns voiced over the last many years by defence forces over the fast dwindling stockpile of key ammunition when China has been significantly ramping up its military capability, an issue that has been discussed by successive governments.
Considering the Army’s demand, the government has already finalised one of the biggest procurement plans for infantry modernisation under which large numbers of light machine guns, battle carbines and assault rifles are being purchased at a cost of nearly Rs 40,000 crore.