Multi-pronged plan drawn up to boost capabilities, says Army chief

The projects for acquisition of night vision devices, upgrading of mechanised forces and augmentation of artillery firepower are nearing completion, Army chief General Bikram Singh said on Wednesday.

He said the army had also submitted a time-bound plan to the government to enhance the capabilities of its aviation corps. ‘We have made plans. The government has approved many. Some of them have been completed while others will get approval by the end of the fiscal,’ he told an Army Day function here. Stressing on the importance of superior equipment and firepower for the army, he said a country is respected only when it is economically and militarily powerful. ‘For the country to achieve its rightful place globally, it is must that our army becomes a capable, effective, responsible and contemporary power and contributes to the progress of the country,’ he said. In his 15-minute-long speech, he spoke about the army’s efforts to deal with issues ranging from suicide to shortage of officers and facilities for its present and former personnel, and said the shortfall of officers will come down to 10 per cent by 2018 from existing 20 per cent.  ‘Unpleasant incidents’ like suicides were down by 50 per cent last year, Gen Singh said, crediting the ‘good administration’ of commanding officers for it.
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