New Delhi: Ammunition will henceforth be manufactured within the country with the objective of having reserves enough for at least 30 days with the military at any point in time, in case of a war. The military has sanctioned a project worth Rs. 150 billion to attain this objective. 11 private sector companies will be a part of this ambitious project.
The army is heavily dependent on imports for the ammunition used by its artillery. This project will be important to end this dependence and make ammunition readily available to the army. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has repeatedly passed strictures that the army does not have enough ammunition reserves for even an eighteen-day war. Army depends heavily on the import of ammunition for the tanks, artillery and other arms. Many a times, there are delays in this process. This delay has been a matter of concern for the army. The government had started making efforts to raise the ammunition reserves enough for at least 30 days, in an emergency situation. This prompted the forwarding of the proposal for this project.
As per the experts the issue will be resolved if ammunition is manufactured within the country. The discussions on the subject are going on for a few years now. Finally, the army has consented to the project.
The project envisages an investment of Rs. 150 billion with participation from 11 private sector companies. This will be the largest ammunition manufacturing project in the country. Initially the ammunition necessary for rockets, air defence systems, and artillery and grenade launchers will be manufactured on a fixed timeframe under this project. The Defence department sources informed that the project will be under direct supervision of the Defence Ministry and the Indian Army.
With the changing global scenario, the security challenges faced by the country are increasing by the day. The project has been undertaken in view of this scenario. The government has taken some important decisions to increase the defence preparedness. The decision to purchase the advanced rifles for the army, worth Rs. 400 billion, was taken last month. The decision to purchase the latest bulletproof jackets was also taken a few days back.