Army Chief Flags Slow Arms Procurement

Published: 30th July 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2014 12:39 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: General Bikram Singh, who retires as Army chief on Thursday, has flagged the slow pace of military acquisitions that would hamper the Army’s bid to remain relevant in a technology-driven character of future wars.

In his message ahead of his retirement after 26 months helming the 11.3 lakh-strong Army, General Singh said he had stressed certain key areas to focus on when he took over as Army chief in June 2012.

He said these had been the foundation of his comprehensive approach to building an army which “remains a potent, responsive, accountable and relevant instrument of national power”.

In the message posted on the Army’s official website, the General said, “Maintaining and enhancing the operational readiness to enable effective fulfillment of our constitutional obligations was my single most important goal.”

Another major challenge faced by him was force modernisation and capability development. “Technology had changed the nature and character of the future wars and we need to induct modern capabilities to remain relevant,” he said.

“To overcome the slow progress in pursuing acquisitions projects, we have attempted to refine procedures and make them more effective. I have no doubts that the results will begin to unfold in a time bound manner and will be there for all to see,” he said.

Noting that he would be handing over the reins of the Army to General Suhag, the outgoing Army chief said he had no doubt that his successor “will lead our beloved Indian Army to even higher pinnacles of glory”.

General Suhag, a Gorkha Rifles officer, will assume charge on Friday.

“I have undertaken this journey, not alone, but as one of the many soldiers in uniform, who with utter disregard to personal comforts and safety, constantly strive to fulfil their duties with unflinching commitment to uphold the confidence and faith reposed in them by the nation,” he said.

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