Armed forces ready to meet any challenge to country: Antony

Defence Minister dismisses reports about ammunition shortage; 'India better placed than in past'.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: April 10, 2012 11:51 am

Dismissing as “rumours” reports about the shortage of tank ammunition,Defence Minister A K Antony said today there would always be “shortcomings”,but the country was in a much stronger position than in the past.

“These are all rumours. I can assure you the country is fully prepared. India is in much more strong position as compared to the past.”

Antony said the armed forces were in a position to meet any challenge to the security and integrity of the country.

“There will always be some shortcomings… that is also in the process. We can’t expect 100 per cent requirements to be fulfilled.. also that the entire force will be in the front. They are all spread over,” he told reporters here.

The minister was commenting on news reports suggesting that only four days of ammunition was left with the Army’s armoured regiments on the sidelines of the two-day IAF Commanders’ Conference.

In his letter written to the Prime Minister in March,Army chief Gen V K Singh had also pointed out that armoured regiments were facing a critical shortage of ammunition.

Asked why the Parliament Standing Committee on Defence had called the three service chiefs to brief it about defence preparedness,Antony said,”I am not the man to decide. This decision relates to the Standing Committee.”

At the IAF conference,the Defence Minister expressed happiness the Air Force had concluded 317 capital acquisition contracts worth over Rs 1.11 lakh crore in the last five years.

“We are also very confident about our preparedness. Some new platforms have started coming and more will come in the near future,” he said.

Asked if grounding the Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft fleet had impacted the Air Force’s operational preparedness,Antony said the IAF would address this issue.

The 49-aircraft Mirage 2000 fleet had been grounded after two crashes earlier this year but will be back in business by month end.

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