Firepower and fire support assumes added significance in modern-day battles as warfare rapidly moves towards non-contact orientation. Armies are relying more and more upon weapons and munitions which can deliver accurate and lethal fire at the target end from a standoff distance. Artillery, hitherto known as ‘God of War’ helps in shaping the battlefield by delivering fire support and effect which can disorient, demoralize and destroy the enemy.
India’s FARP (Field Army Reorganization Plan) devised at the turn of the century took into account such a formidable capability and aims at equipping Indian Artillery with a variety of guns which can devastate its adversaries during armed conflicts. There have been inevitable delays in realizing the FARP, even though some weapon systems have been inducted and some are in the pipeline.
Some experts apportion the blame for slow progress on lack of funds and complicated DPPs as also point fingers towards India’s aspirations to become Aatamnirbhar in defence. Ironically it is the latter which may come to India’s rescue in making up the deficiencies in quick time for the simple reason that no country or manufacturer keeps a stock of weapon platforms ready for sale. Expensive and specific to Qualitative Requirements, as they are, Artillery Gun Systems are produced on demand.
This is thus the time to propel our artillery modernisation plans by realizing the potential of our defence industry to fulfil the twin objectives of Artillery modernisation and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
To achieve this objective, however, we need to shed the incremental approach and take a few bold steps. The arduous time taking processes and procedures