Leaked letter reveals India's military weaknesses

India's tank fleet lacks ammunition, air defences are "97 percent obsolete" and its elite forces lack essential...

Afp March 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: India's tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are "97 percent obsolete" and its elite forces lack essential arms, the country's army chief wrote in an explosive letter leaked Wednesday.

The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 - widely reported by the Indian media - lists the shortcomings of the armed forces in embarrassing detail in a blow to the government and the Asian giant's military prestige.

Its publication also ups the stakes in a public battle between army chief General VK Singh and the government which began with a dispute over Singh's retirement earlier this year.

"The state of the major (fighting) arms i.e. mechanised forces, artillery, air defence, infantry and special forces, as well as the engineers and signals, is indeed alarming," Singh wrote in the letter, DNA newspaper reported.

The army's entire tank fleet is "devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks", while the air defence system is "97% obsolete and it doesn't give the deemed confidence to protect... from the air," he wrote, according to DNA.

The infantry is crippled with "deficiencies" and lacks night fighting equipment, while the elite special forces are "woefully short" of "essential weapons".

Singh also told The Hindu newspaper this week that he had informed Defence Minister A.K Antony of a $2.8 million bribe offered to him in 2010, leading to embarrassing questions as to why the government did not order an enquiry.

Antony told parliament on Wednesday that he was aware of the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he would reply appropriately.


VINOD | 10 years ago | Reply

It is great to see that this article has attracted such massive and elaborate comments from both side of border. Every one has to please note that in India things are discussed so openly and with out any bar. Our army has a rightful place in a democratic set up and thats it. No over importance to Generals etc nor under importance. At right times it has played the right role like any other democratic institution of our country. There is nothing to get over excited. Weaknesses including corruption,communal forces, shortages, improvements, achievements and failures are for open discussion under constant watch of the people who have to vote. Regards.

Logical Conclusion | 10 years ago | Reply

Yet again the Indian trolls are galvanised to mock Pakistan, just as they like to point out that partition was great for India since it cut out the 'fanatics' who were unwilling to accept their Hindu ancestors etc. etc. All the while claiming that Pakistanis are obsessed with India. A cursory glance of the comments revelas quite the opposite is true. What are you trying to achieve, brother Indians? If you are what you say you are, these constant explanations by your side would be unnecessary. In my view, they indicate that partition has cut some deep wounds and you simply cannot come to terms with Pakistan's existence, much less even attempt to enjoy peaceful relations with it. You are talking to your yourselves in the comment section. I hope you are convinvced of your own arguements

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read