The Indian Army is in need of Rs410bn ($8.2bn) to fill its current deficiencies in equipment and ammunition, according to the 11th plan (2007-2012) review to the Defence Ministry.

The army’s operational gaps range from artillery, aviation, air defence and night-fighting to anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), precision-guided munitions, and specialised tank and rifle ammunition.

Under the Rs200bn ($4bn) artillery modernisation programme, induction of 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, valued at $647m, is expected to begin later this year, although the contract has not been signed yet due to ‘technical complications’.

Of the 80,000 authorised holding of ATGMs, only half of that number is held by infantry, mechanised infantry and armoured corps.

The Times of India has quoted a senior official as saying, "Deficiencies are being made up. Defence Acquisitions Council and Cabinet Committee on Security have cleared some major contracts in recent times. It will take some time for the equipment and ammunition to reach troops on the ground."

Given the current situation, the army would be able to reach its 100% operational capability only by end of the 14th Plan in 2027.