R&D in Defence has to be nurtured & exploited in private and public domains: Shri MM Pallam Raju

India has emerged as an attractive and favoured destination to forge alliances for cost effective production of defence equipment for foreign firms

Source: CII

In order to meet the defence requirements of the country, R&D in defence has to be nurtured and exploited in both private and public domains. Today India is one of the largest importers of military hardware in the world and domestic enterprises should be encouraged to contribute to minimize the import factor, opined Shri MM Pallam Raju, Honourable Raksha Rajya Mantri, Government of India. He was speaking at International Missile Technology Seminar on Future Anti — Tank Guided Missiles organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Directorate of Mechanised Forces, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army).

The minister further stated that development of a family of anti-tank guided missiles by domestic enterprises will take India a step closer to self reliance. This will help in harnessing core competitiveness of industry in the fields of R&D, manufacturing, design and development. This will further help in synergizing recourses and infrastructure that will pave way for mutually beneficial joint ventures. This will also encourage Indian industry to actively participate in modernization of the defence sector.

Praising the Indian industry for its contribution in the sector, General VK Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) said that the engagement of Indian industry in the defence sector has been laudable, and it can develop what the nation needs. Technology has been changing and impacting the type of equipments needed by defence. It is getting imperative to imbibe whatever cutting edge technology is available in the equipments. With regard to the guided missile domain, Indian industry is poised to gain a great deal of work.

Lt Gen Dalip Bhardwaj, PVSM, VSM, Director General Mechanised Forces Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) said that in the light of number of technological advances, it is a challenging task for R&D organisations and industry to closely integrate the technology with a product. In order to put in place a family of anti-tank guided missiles, a greater impetus should be given to PPP in this field.

Mr Satish K Kaura, Co-Chairman, CII Defence Council & Chairman, Samtel Group called for a faster operationalisation of SME technology development fund. India needs a clear roadmap for progressive indigenization and recommended structural changes in MoD to include Private sector in Defence Production. He opined that an officer of a rank of an Additional Secretary may be nominated with a charter to facilitate Private Sector in defence production.

Mr Rahul Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Power SED, India stated that CII's representation across large, medium and small companies actively look forward to participate in the defence production. Therefore the process should be further streamlines and more opportunities need to be opened up to the industry. Interactions in form of seminars are fruitful in contributing towards better understanding and dealing with the issues at hand.

The concept for the seminar is based on the premise that technology is advancing to an unprecedented pace and is likely to have major impact in future warfare. Nations that can exploit emerging technologies and synergize the same with future generations' weapon systems with have a decisive edge in the battle field. Anti-tank weapon system constitutes the cutting edge to defeat the adversary's mechanized forces. It is therefore imperative for India's anti-tank guided missiles to modernize incorporating emerging technologies.