DMPQ-. Discuss the need of modernization of Indian Armed forces as discussed in recent Union budget.

. Addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of the provisions of the Union Budget 2021-22 in the defence sector, the Prime Minister listed a series of measures taken to boost self-reliance in the defence sector.

The armed forces are hoping for a miracle this Union Budget from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman — a substantial rise in the defence allocation, which will enable them to bring on track the mega procurement plans that have either slowed or stalled.  Citing the ongoing border standoff with China, sources in the forces said there is a stark need for defence modernisation.

A number of mega deals are pending or have slowed due to budgetary constraints, including those for new transport and fighter aircraft, and helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF); artillery guns, assault rifles, snipers and specialised vehicles for the Army; and fighter aircraft, submarines, new warships and helicopters for the Navy.

According to a 2019 report, the government has firmed up a mega plan to spend $130 billion to bolster combat capability of the armed forces in the next five to seven years. However, all three services have since spoken on record about the budgetary constraints, and impediments to modernisation.

According to sources in the armed services, the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh has brought out the desperate need for modernisation out in the open.  Since the standoff began in April-May, all three services have gone in for emergency procurement.

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