Newly appointed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be given a list of requirements of the Defence Ministry when he gets down to business in South Block. According to reports, the Defence Ministry has prepared a detailed presentation for Singh in which the three services are expected to project their modernisation requirements. Among the urgent requirements likely to be projected to the new minister include modern carbines for the Army and modernisation of the air defence and armoured corps.
The Navy, on the other hand, has been waiting for clearance of Project 75 I for progress in its Scorpene-class submarines. The acquisition is of immense importance given the Chinese influence in the crucial Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The IAF, on the other hand, is in dire need of 114 modern fighters in order to fill up for its depleting squadron strength, besides Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) to keep a check on the adversary aircraft.
According to a report by news agency ANI, the detailed presentation has been kept ready for the new Defence Minister when he assumes office next week. “A detailed presentation is ready for the new Defence Minister who is likely to take over tomorrow. The three services have listed their operational roles along with their requirements,” a Defence Ministry official was quoted as saying by ANi.
Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who was supposed to retire on Friday has been given an extension for three months so that he can assist the new Defence Minister in getting started with the ministry. The wish list of the three services includes budgetary requirements for modernisation. What is likely to put the forces in an advantageous position is the fact that newly appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is well appraised about their requirements by virtue of having served as Defence Minister during her previous term.