New Delhi, Dec 14 : Integration of the armed forces is an effort to jointly enhance India’s capabilities to face the challenges posed by the adversaries, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
He also handed over five Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) products to the armed forces and other security agencies and overlooked the execution of six transfer of technology (ToT) agreements with seven public and private sector companies on Tuesday, as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav‘ celebrations of the Ministry of Defence.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said, “When we talk about integration and jointness, it is not limited to the initiatives taken by the government alone. Its success has to be achieved by meeting the minds of our defence forces. It is an effort to jointly enhance our capabilities to face the challenges posed by our adversaries.”
“The integration we talk about is not limited to our forces, but it also means synergy among every concerned organisation in the country,” he added.
The Defence Minister said that there has been a big change over the last few years in the approach of DRDO whereby it is not only working on technologies to mitigate the current threats, but also on first-of-its-kind technologies to face the future challenges.
On the objective of making India a strong platform for defence manufacturing base and net defence exporter, Rajnath Singh said DRDO has played a significant role in this endeavour.
“Its path passes through collaboration among DRDO, the armed forces, private industry, startups and academia. The ToT with private players which took place today indicate that we are ready to make a strong defence industrial base in the country that will cater not only to the domestic defence requirements, but will also fulfil the needs of friendly countries by defence item exports.”
Paying tribute to late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, and others who lost their lives in the recent chopper crash in Tamil Nadu, Rajnath Singh said that the process of integration and modernisation of tri-services that was initiated with the creation of the post of CDS and the Department of Military Affairs will move on seamlessly and will be priority of the government to achieve the target as soon as possible.
Emphasising the role of technology in warfare, Singh said India’s aim should be to make the country a leader in defence technology, and identified the development of Hypersonic cruise missile as one such advanced technology for which all should work together.
Citing the scientific prowess of DRDO in developing Mission Shakthi, Defence Minister said DRDO is working on smart materials, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning based systems, Swarm drones, Asymmetric warfare and others.
Singh said the government is working in a concerted manner to realise the objective of ‘Make in India and Make for the World’ by bringing in several policy reforms such as increasing FDI in defence sector through automatic route to 74 per cent, corporatisation of OFB, creation of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, formulation of Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020, and bringing out positive lists of defence items for domestic manufacturing, among others.
He added that these policies aim to make the armed forces strong by strengthening the domestic defence industry.
Products handed over to the armed forces and the Ministry of Home Affairs are anti-drone system, modular bridge, smart anti-airfield weapon, chaff variants and the light weight fire fighting suit.
The counter drone systems, developed by DRDO for detection, deterrence and destruction of incoming drones were handed over to the CISC by Singh.
He also handed over a modular bridge to the Chief of Army Staff, General M.M. Naravane.
Modular bridge developed by R&DE (engineers) is a single span, mechanically launched assault bridge of military load class MLC-70, and can be launched in different spans.
Sigh also handed over Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), an air launched, long-range, stand-off, air-to-surface Smart Bomb, to the Chief of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari.
The variants of advanced chaff were handed over to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar. Structural fire-fighting suit developed by DRDO’s Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi, was handed over to V.S.K. Kaumudi, Special Secretary, MHA.
The LAToT documents of seven DRDO developed systems were handed over during the event for the systems/technologies, namely coastal surveillance radar, automatic chemical agent detection and alarm (ACADA) and chemical agent monitor (CAM), unit maintenance vehicle, unit repair vehicle, fused silica based ceramic core technology and fire suppressing gel.