Defence minister AK Antony on Wednesday said India's armed forces modernisation was "often misconstrued" by some nations and asserted that the country had a proven track record of harnessing military technology for "peaceful and non-violent" purposes.
"Our efforts at strengthening our Armed Forces are often misconstrued by some nations. India has a proven track record of harnessing technology for peaceful and non-violent purposes and ones essentially aimed to strengthen our defence capabilities," he said without naming Pakistan or China as countries that may have those apprehensions.
"Translated in the context of aerospace industry, it would mean enhancing military and dual-use technology that would benefit our armed forces and also have spin-off benefits for the civil populace," he said delivering a lecture at an international aerospace seminar in New Delhi.
He said armed forces modernisation remained on the top of the government's priority list. "However, despite our best intentions and earmarking huge budgets and allocating money, the modernisation efforts have not borne the desired results," he said.
Several procurement plans of the armed forces have been lagging behind, which included the Army's artillery modernisation, Navy's augmenting of its fast-depleting submarine fleet and the IAF's air defence capabilities and MiG-series fighter aircraft that have reached the obsolescence stage.
However, the armed forces are in the process of procuring artillery guns, medium multi-role fighter aircraft and new submarines for the forces and it is estimated that the procurement plans over the next 10 years is worth USD 100 billion.
Antony said the Defence Ministry should "continuously reduce and even eliminate procedural delays and bottlenecks" in its procurement procedures.
"It is with this realisation that we have put in place a Defence Procurement Procedure that is amended every year to speed up procurement and bring in fairness and transparency to the system," he said.