The Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday cleared the Army's critical proposal to acquire ammunition for its tank fleet to meet its shortage.
The Army has a fleet of around 3,000 T-72 and T-90 tanks and its ammunition comes from Russia. But the quantity of its ammunition exported from Russia is very low. The issue of acute shortage of ammunition of its tank fleet of T-90 and T-72 tanks was raised by former army chief General VK Singh. In its communication to the prime minister, General Singh had claimed that the army has ammunition for only four days. The matter of ammunition shortage was also mentioned by the parliamentary standing committee on defence.
Besides ammunition, the proposal for night-vision equipment for tank fleet was also taken up. The night vision devices for tanks will enhance performance of the tank fleet during nights.
The mechanised forces, which include 63 armoured corps regiments and over 30 mechanised infantry battalions, constitute a critical component of the Army's preparedness for high-intensity, fast-tempo and short-duration battles of the future.
The Army had also informed the standing committee on defence about the shortage and how the situation had worsened by the blacklisting of its biggest ammunition supplier — Israeli Military Industry (IMI).