India embarked on a major overdrive in 2022 to significantly bolster its overall military prowess and focused on its strategic goals. Let us assess the technological and strategic and other developments of military/forces in India.
About India’s military strength:
As per the ‘Global Firepower (GFP) annual defence review’, India’s performance in 2022 is as follows:
With strength of 45 lakhs of active militarymanpower, India is ranked fourth for the year 2022 as per the report.
A total of 140 countrieswere considered.
Each country is evaluated on a multitude of factors related to a prolonged offensive or defensive military campaign and the GFP list was compiled on the basis of the ‘PwrIndx rating’.
India holds a power index score of 0.0979.
The country’s total aircraft strength is 2,182, which includes both fixed-wing and rotorcraft platforms from all branches of services. India has 12,000 armoured vehicles and 4,614 tanks.
The developments in 2022:
The military has maintained an assertive approachin sync with the broader national security doctrine and procured a variety of military platforms and weapons to enhance their combat capabilities.
In the 16th round of military talks, two sides (India and China) carried out disengagement from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot spring areaof eastern Ladakh in September 2022, taking forward similar exercises in other friction points last year.
However, the Military forces lingered on in Demchok and Depsang regions.
India expanded military cooperation with almost all friendly countries in South Asia in the face of China's consistent attempts to increase its influence in the region.
The year also saw India ramping up overall defence cooperation with a number of leading countries including the US, France, the UK, Germany and Japan.
The armed forces started procurement of a significant number of military platforms and weapons including light tanks, anti-ship missiles, long-range guided bombs, futuristic infantry combat vehicles, mounted gun systems and different types of drones.
India tested a ballistic missile fired from its first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihantwhich was seen as a major milestone to further boost the country's strategic strike capabilities.
India has become only the sixth country, alongside the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and France, to have nuclear-powered submarinesarmed with ballistic missiles.
In December, India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-5which can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km.
The Agni-5 projectis aimed at boosting India's nuclear deterrence against China which is known to have missiles like Dongfeng-41 having ranges between 12,000-15,000 km.
Agni-Vcan bring almost the entire Asia including the northernmost part of China as well as some regions in Europe under its striking range.
India also carried out a test firing of the extended-range version of the Brahmos missile, the Prithvi-II missile, the Agni-4, Agni-3 and Helina missiles.
In September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned India's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (IAC I) that made the country part of an elite group of nations capable of manufacturing aircraft carriers above the 40,000 tonnes category.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the first fleet of indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), 'Prachand', 23 years after the need for such a lethal platform for mountain warfare was felt following the Kargil conflict with Pakistan.
From the construction of roads, bridges and ammunition depotsto bolstering its surveillance apparatus, the Army is ramping up military infrastructure at a rapid pace for quicker mobilisation of troops.
In 2022, the defence ministry also unveiled a slew of reform initiatives to make India a hub of manufacturing defence equipment and platforms.
The defence ministry also rolled out the 'Agnipath' recruitment schemewith an aim to bring down the age profile of the armed forces and make them more agile.
Gen Anil Chauhanbecame India's new Chief of Defence Staff with a mandate to implement the ambitious catheterisation plan that aims to ensure tri-services synergy and prepare the armed forces for future security challenges facing the nation.
In a boost to India's focus on defence indigenisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in Vadodara for the production of European C-295 military transport aircraft on October 30.