‘We need to be proactive, and to be offensive rather than only being reactive with any hostile activities of adversaries’: General Bipin Rawat
Newly appointed Army Chief General Bipin Rawat addressed the media on the eve of the Army day.
Addressing the media in his first press conference, the Army Chief commended the role of media, stating media as the force-multiplier for the forces. On the security scenario, he said: “We will ensure to deny space to the people who are disrupting the harmony; we are a strong army, committed to nation building. We need to look at future and challenges of proxy war. We need to be proactive, and to be offensive rather than only being reactive with any hostile activities of adversaries. While we have conventional treats, it is the asymmetric warfare that we have to deal with.”
The Army Chief stated that offence is the best defense. “We are committed to peace and tranquility, there has to be an element of offence in our defence. Last month, Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed a volume in the security forces with synergized effort, the situation is under control and we have ensured that the situation is not allowed to escalate. All actions are taken to bring the peace and harmony. Security forces work 24x7, and we are willing to walk an extra mile to ensure the security and safety of the people. Let’s allow Kashmir to be the heaven on earth.”
COAS stressed the importance of information and technology in the modern warfare. Going by the technological revolution that is happening all over the world, he mentioned, “Our own industry is doing well and we possess the intellect and academia. We need to harness our potential and provide weapon systems, operational logistics and infrastructure to our army and keep pace with the emerging technology. We should assist the solider with actionable intelligence.” The Army Chief stressed on equipping the solider with weapons and latest technology, ‘provide protected gear, give them lethality and the wherewithal to face challenges on ground’.
In context to modernisation, he mentioned that the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project is moving at a fairly good pace. The Army has started the process of replacing the T20s by Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV). The army also is in requirement of good missile systems with better ranges. Introduction of new guns in artillery is already in process. The Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) are being contracted, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) Dhanush and more are on their way. The emphasis is on ensuring the weapon system with better range, accuracy and lethality. The Army’s aviation assets – Cheetah and Cheetak helicopters need replacement and Kamov helicopters will come in. Advanced Light Helicopter ALH is already in service and being weaponised and ACH is commissioned for high altitudes.
Commenting on the Jawan’s taking on to the social media to share their plights, the Army Chief urged all rank and file to work together. He also appealed to his troops to share their grievances directly with the COAS office, rather than resorting to venting it out via the social media. “Social media is a two-edged sword, sometimes detrimental. Through the media, I wish to reach out to the rank and file of the Army to have confidence in the senior leadership. Should anyone have any grievance, they can address it directly to me and get the grievance addressed.” He urged the complainant to mention his or her name in the complaint and asked the troops to have confidence that they will get an appropriate response.