New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Pushing for indigenisation, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged scientists in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to establish a system in India where all defence equipment can be manufactured in the country.
He said, “DRDO has empowered the country with cutting edge technology.”
Singh, addressing the 41st DRDO Directors Conference in Delhi, said that despite various restrictions and limited capabilities, DRDO has succeeded in developing a variety of systems, products and technologies needed to enhance the forces.
Urging to reduce dependency on imports of defence facilities, the Defence Minister said, “We will have to focus on research work to emerge as the global leader in defence technologies. And for this, it is important to improve continuously in order to maintain operational superiority.”
Paying tribute to late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Singh said, “I express my gratitude to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his 88th birth anniversary. He was an acknowledged scientist. His contribution to research and missile development brought India in a list of countries known for their indigenous capabilities.”
The minister said, “I am happy that DRDO has achieved the targets set for 100 days. They have also identified milestones to commemorate the 75 years of independence. It is also heartening to note that they have added to their strength in order to achieve complete self-reliance in coming years.”
Speaking on the occasion, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said that armies that were better equipped always called the shots and decided the destiny of mankind. “They were always the one which had higher technologies. India’s own historical experience on this has been sad, we were the runner-up. There is no trophy for the runner-up,” he said.
Doval stressed that either one is better than adversaries or one is not there at all. “In the modern world, technology and money are two things which will influence geopolitics,” he said. He also stressed technology has to be need-based.
“We along with our defence services and intelligence agencies have to make a hard assessment of our needs which will give us an edge over our adversaries,” he said.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat complimented DRDO for making strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. He said, “We will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”
Rawat stated that DRDO has made major strides to ensure that needs of the services are met by providing various systems like artillery gun systems, mines, anti-tank missile systems, etc. He was confident that future wars will be won with indigenous systems.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh in his address stated that Indian Navy is efficiently using Varunastra, Maareech, Ushus, TAL and various other DRDO developed systems.
Rajnath Singh added that warfare and technologies are synonymous and undergo rapid changes. These must be factored during design stage.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria said that technology leadership is what defines DRDO. He also mentioned that DRDO has been able to achieve the objectives of self-reliance to a great extent in the past seven decades. He appreciated DRDO’s role in Electronic Warfare Technologies, radars, composite materials for LCA, AEW&C, Astra and various other technologies.
He also appreciated the capabilities of LCA Tejas and asked DRDO to develop next generation aircraft AMCA, harnessing the technologies and experience of LCA.
Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO spoke about successful development of ASAT, BrahMos, ASTRA, Nag missile, SAAW, Arjun MBT Mk 1A, 46 metre Modular Bridge, MPR, LLTR Ashwini, etc. He added that the theme for 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference is technology leadership for empowering India, in line with the requirement to develop indigenous systems with advanced technologies.
The Defence Minister also released two compendia namely the DRDO-Industry Partnership: Synergy and Growth and DRDO Products with Potential for Export. DRDO Policy and Procedures for Transfer of Technology to support industry was also released by him.
Singh also launched the new website of DRDO.