It is no secret that there’s a delay in India’s current cycle of military modernisation. Ask the services and they will vaguely claim that the cycle will be completed by 2022 or maybe 2027. The effort is to induct the contemporary range of armoured vehicles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines, frigates and so on. Given the decades taken to achieve this, these systems will almost immediately become obsolete and another delayed cycle will begin.
As long as an indigent Pakistan was the principal adversary, this caused no big worry. But we now increasingly confront a risen China, whose plans work on schedule, and whose modernisation is relentlessly moving from copying western design and concepts towards leapfrogging to become technology leaders.