The defence ministry has finally cleared a 15-year long-term integrated perspective plan (LTIPP), following the army chief, general VK Singh's sensational leak of the letter to prime minister Manmohan Singh revealing the sorry state of defence preparedness. (See: Forces ill-equipped to meet threats, Army chief tells PM)
With the integrated plan, the three armed forces would be able to plan their big-ticket purchase in advance, in collaboration with industry.
The defence acquisition council (DAC) comprising defence minister A K Antony and three service chiefs approved the LTIPP, the plan that prescribes the acquisition road map for the three forces for the next 15 years, yesterday. Most modern armed forces draw up a perspective plan, which they share with the industry in advance. While the US, the UK and Australia draw up a 15-year perspective plan, the French publish one with a 30-year perspective.
Only the Indian Navy had a perspective plan while the IAF and the army had never had such a practice. According to defence ministry officials, based on the new LTIPP, a technology perspective capability road map would be made and shared with DRDO, defence public sector undertakings and Indian industry, so that they could plan ahead.
India has paid a heavy price for the lack of such a long term perspective on critical projects like Tejas light combat aircraft, Kaveri engine, Arjun main battle tank and absence of military grade steel in warship.
The DAC had approved a five-year defence plan (2012-17), detailing specific requirements for modernisation of defence forces as also projections for the allocation of resources for modernisation. The two key planning documents would chart out the future operational requirement as also develop the infrastructure accordingly.