|M-777 Howitzer and ammunition (Unrelated File Photo)|
By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — India is facing a severe shortage of ammunition, with 40 percent of the types of ammo in the armed forces’ inventory able to only last fewer than 10 days, according to a report by India’s autonomous audit agency, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Military officials here are saying in private that defense forces are concerned about the ammunition shortage because of the threat from China and Pakistan.
“War is best avoided till we are able to make up our deficiencies in which ammunition seems to be a major concern; till then we need to rely on diplomacy to ward off even a medium-intensity conflict,” said Rahul Bhonsle, a defense analyst and retired Indian Army brigadier.
According to the 176-page report, known as “Report No. 15 of 2017 (Defence Services),” the “availability of 55 per cent types of ammunitions was below MARL i.e. minimum inescapable requirement to be maintained for operational preparedness and 40 per cent types of ammunitions were in critical level having stock of less than 10 days.”
“Availability of high calibre ammunitions relating to AFVs (Tanks) and Artillery are in more alarming state. Moreover, in the absence of fuze, 83 per cent of these high calibre ammunitions presently held with Army were not in a state to be used in operation,” the report continued.
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