Sunday, July 14, 2024

Slow Progress & Delayed Acquisitions Plague Army’s Artillery Modernisation Program, CAG Report Finds

By Staff Correspondent

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has issued a scathing report criticising the Indian Army’s sluggish progress in modernising its artillery gun program. According to the report, as of March 2022, only 8% of the initially envisioned guns had been delivered to the Army, despite the formulation of the artillery modernisation plan in 1999 and its aim to acquire 2,800 guns by 2027 through the Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan.

The CAG report indicates that progress has been slow in replacing existing guns with state-of-the-art models, taking over two decades to achieve only 17% of the proposed acquisitions. The procurement process has been beset by delays at various stages, with only three out of six proposals for the acquisition and upgrade of artillery guns turning into contracts.

The report highlights the need for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Army Headquarters to ensure that qualitative requirements are realistic, given the significant delays. The Army’s current artillery guns comprise various systems inducted since 1965, with the acquisition of self-propelled guns dropped from the modernisation plan without identifying a suitable substitute.

Despite undergoing various stages of procurement, two major proposals for the procurement of towed guns and a number of mounted gun systems, comprising 77% of the proposed acquisitions, could not fructify till March 2022. This underscores the need for swift action to avoid further delays in the Army’s artillery modernisation program.

Most Popular