Time to fully indigenise weaponry: Army chief

Says India will lag behind if we depend on other nations

By :  Pawan Bali
Update: 2024-04-23 20:08 GMT
Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande. (PTI)

New Delhi: Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande on Tuesday said that recent geo-political powerplays have displayed that where ‘national interests are concerned’ countries will not hesitate to go to war. “These developments have reaffirmed the relevance of hard power,” he said.

He observed that in our quest to achieve and sustain a ‘hard power’ quotient, “we need to be alive to the implication of external dependency to meet defence requirements.”

Asserting that impact of supply chain disruptions and weaponisation of denial regimes came to the fore during the pandemic and from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Army chief said, “These developments have underscored that the security of the nation, can neither be outsourced nor be dependent on the largesse of others”.

He said that if “we are importing, be dependent for critical technologies on countries that possess them, we must be very clear that we will always remain one technology cycle behind.”

“Indigenise to modernise” shall remain our mantra for capability development. “Indian army’s vision for the future is, to transform into an agile, adaptive, technology-enabled and self-reliant future-ready force, which is capable of deterring and winning wars in a multi-domain operational environment, across the full spectrum of operations,” Gen. Pande said.

He said the Indian army is pursuing new and niche technologies, for absorption into war fighting systems. “This is being given effect, through a focused capability development and sustenance roadmap, which conforms to Indian army’s commitment to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Gen. Pande said.

Claiming that the Indian defence industry is rising up to the challenge and is investing significantly into research processes and advanced production, he said, “Currently, we have 340 indigenous defence industries working towards fructification of 230 contracts by 2025, that entails an outlay of Rs 2.5 lakh crore”.

He said that apart from weapon systems and equipment, “we are pursuing 45 niche technologies, which have been identified for military application. 120 indigenous projects are underway to develop and absorb these niche technologies. These follow multiple routes – of innovation, incubation, and development.”

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