Indian Armed Forces' War Power Hit Hard as Procurement Worth Billions Halted amid Coronavirus Outbreak

News Bharati    25-Mar-2020
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New Delhi, March 25: Following the decision to restrict movements of India's cantonments and military stations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in India on Monday and PM Modi announcing a 21-day lockdown across the entire country, the Defence Ministry has agreed to deter the process of procurement concerning critical requirements for the infantry and navy of the armed forces.
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As there was a 34-year-old soldier who had tested positive making him lone case reported in the armed forces, the Ministry had issued fresh instructions to reduce the movements of all military establishments, cantonments, formations, and units in 82 districts on Monday. Meanwhile, in the need to respond to the tenders for defense capital acquisition, a notification was issued by the defense ministry saying that it has extended the last date for the submission of the procurement, because of the widening virus.
"The Indian Army had aimed to close the tenders worth over $10 billion such as man-portable loitering munition systems, assault rifles, light machine guns, armored vehicles, etc., which are crucial for the country’s limited war capability. Loitering munition systems play a crucial role in destroying enemy targets near the border without venturing into the enemy's firing range," the statement read.
Other capital acquisition projects included the kinetic energy penetrator Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) which is the primary ammunition of an armored regiment. The decision to postpone the dates for every tender was made after industry associations approached the ministry and claimed that attending meetings with officials would be difficult amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, the Indian army had reported its first case of coronavirus after a soldier in Leh a region bordering China was tested positive. According to the latest reports, the total of confirmed cases has risen up to 562 including 40 recovered and 9 deaths. Meanwhile, the government has announced a complete shut-down of flight services in the country while 32 out of 36 states/territories have been put under lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic.