DPSUs and the Ordnance Factory Board. Incidentally, has anyone been made answerable for the void in the artillery arm of the army and the submarine capabilities of the navy due to interruptions in their re-equipping plans? And the 197-helicopter project seems to have had a second burial, with pilots continuing to fly the vintage Cheetahs and Chetaks.
In a recent Defence Research and Development Organisation seminar in Delhi, the defence minister openly said, “Perform or perish”. One hopes it is a true declaration of intent, with concrete action to follow. The next few months will be critical and should indicate which road the government is taking. In these pre-election days, one only hopes the cold logic of keeping the powder dry at all times remains the guiding star in decision-making.
The writer, a retired air vice marshal, was assistant chief of Integrated Defence Staff, in charge of tri-service procurements. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, Delhi. Views are personal