NEW DELHI – A top Indian army general has said Pakistan has a better military industrial base and exports more defence equipment than India, as he “slammed” the performance of ordnance factories at home, Times of India reported.
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“Pakistan probably has a better industrial base, as far as defence production is concerned, than our country,” said Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) Lieutenant General Sarath Chand while speaking at the inaugural session of AMICON 2017, a two-day conference organised by the Indian army and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Chand criticised India’s ordnance factories for not keeping up with changing technology and not undertaking enough research and development initiatives.
According to The Indian Express, he admitted that the Indian defence industry was lagging behind with the passage of time due to lack of technological advancements. Although he stressed that there is no competition in this field with Pakistan, he expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Indian ordnance factories that were unable to produce weapons according to the needs.
“They (Pakistan) export more defence equipment than us,” Chand said, adding that the Indian defence industry had failed to keep up with changing times due to insufficient research and technology.
The top-tier Indian army official revealed that the state is highly dependent on imports to compete in war-like situations. He credited the Make in India programme and Defence Procurement Policy 2016 initiated by the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it major steps for the improvement of the defence industry.
He also wondered if the poor functioning of the factories was caused by a “lack of accountability”, read the TOI report.
“It is very hard to see ordnance factories changing in the present state. Overall, it has become an unsuccessful method of supporting our defence requirements,” observed Chand.
He noted that having indigenous industrial capability is very crucial for the country. He further cautioned that in an event of a war, one has to look abroad for sustenance. “And very often, friends have let us down whenever the chips have been down,” Lt Gen Chand observed.