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Lt Gen C P Mohanty stresses on Army modernisation to deal with threats from Pak, China

BHUBANESWAR (PTI): Ahead of assuming charge as the next vice-chief of the Indian Army, Lt General Chandi Prasad Mohanty Wednesday said the force needs modernisation and further augmentation of its capability to simultaneously deal with threats from China and Pakistan.

Lt Gen Mohanty, who is currently the Southern Command chief, will take over from Lt Gen S K Saini after he retires on January 31.

Attending a function at Sainik School here, Mohanty said, "As of now, the major challenge before the Indian Army is to tackle both China and Pakistan at one time in the borders.

"Therefore, we have to expedite modernisation, achieve technological advancement and keep vigil on both the fronts simultaneously. For that reason, we have to do capability development, infrastructure development, procure better weapon systems and better communications."

Noting that nature of battlefields across the globe is changing fast, Mohanty said, one needs to constantly undertake modernisation works.

"Nowadays, we in the Indian Army, Indian Navy or the Indian Air-force, are not giving stress on expanding in terms of numbers, but emphasis is being given on infrastructure development and modernisation," he said.

After taking charge as the vice-chief of India Army, Lt General Mohantys prime responsibility will be to carry forward modernisation and capability development of the force, he said.

"China is modernising in a big way and also assisting Pakistan to modernise in a big way. We are also carrying out a lot of modernisation and capability enhancement. What is most important is that we are getting tremendous support from our Prime Minister and Defence Minister," Mohanty said.

Replying to a question on defence production in the country, Mohanty said, "You will be happy to know that we are totally looking at Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Many local industries are are now coming up under Atma Nirbhar Bharat. ... Indian Army is encouraging Indian industries. We would be proud to use indigenously produced weapons. Indian industries are doing a good job and will also export weapons in future."

Mohanty appealed to Odia youths to join the defence force and make the state proud.

Odia women should also join the Army, he said.

Replying to a question on Odishas demand for formation of Kalinga Regiment, Jagatsinghpur-born Mohanty said, "Since Independence, the Indian Army has set up only Naga Regiment and it has two battalions. Let us see what can be done for the raising of Kalinga Regiment".

Congratulating Lt Gen Mohanty on being appointed as the 42nd vice-chief of the Indian Army, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday tweeted, "Indeed a proud moment for #Odisha. Wish the very best for the new responsibility."

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