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Mapping India's military strength in 2022

  • Published
    6th Jan, 2023

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:

Strategic progress:

  • 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.

Technological Progress:

  • 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.

Infrastructural progress:

  • 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.

Policy Interventions:

  • 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.
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