Army will showcase desi products to foreign delegations, give FCs: Vice chief | India News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) Lt Gen BS Raju on Monday said that as part of encouraging private Indian defence industry the Indian Army would showcase indigenous products and technologies to visiting delegations and also issue certificates to boost confidence among foreign partners.
“…Annually more than 40-50 foreign delegations come visiting and I’d like to assure the industry that we will showcase your products to them. Also, we would like to issue certificates of fitness for your products which we feel are useful and that should give confidence to our foreign partners to buy products that you are manufacturing,” Raju said at the inauguration of the Regional Technology Node-Bengaluru (RTN-B) at the ASC Centre and College in Bengaluru.
He added that the Army would also like to place some initial orders as and when the industry has some products that are useful. This he said would allow the Army to experiment, use them in real field conditions and give industry feedback so they improve.
Arguing that self-reliance needs no emphasis, he said, it has been specifically proven in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war and the peculiar situation that we in India are in as a consequence of that.
“Self-reliance is no more a buzzword, it has become part of the reality and is not only important from the point of view of meeting our urgent needs but it has also become an important component of our national comprehensive plan. In the last few decades we’ve made reasonable progress on multiple fronts as far as the defence industry is concerned, but there’s still some way to go before we can call ourselves a reasonable power in the defence manufacturing sector,” he said.
Future wars, he said, would be fought in multiple domains using complex but intelligent systems like swarm drones, unmanned ground vehicles, missiles with adaptive guidance and robotic systems.
“The writing on the wall is clear that future wars will be fought in multiple domains using complex but intelligent systems…At the centre of all this will be artificial intelligence, computer algorithms that can perform multiple functions including decision making. And all of these will have a large quantum of computing power. We are talking of capabilities that can be exerted by the human mind being done by machines, which is a quantum change,” he said.
The Army’s modernisation plans in the next 10-15 years would need a more active role from the private industry, he said, adding that the government has realised that they need to open up and move away from just R&D from DRDO or defence PSUs.
“We are at an inflection point where the need for the private sector is very evident and we are sure the industry will come onboard… Make-in-India and other initiatives have changed the way the defence sector looks at the future. They’ve been given further impetus in all the activity the Indian Army is doing,” he said.
“There’s a clear endeavour from within the armed forces to ensure that we become self-reliant in defence manufacturing. We have the army design bureau, whose primary task is to engage and collaborate with industry and academia to ensure full visibility of what the army needs and what the industry is capable of,” he said, adding that RTN-B, is in that direction.
He assured the defence industry that the Army would give every opportunity to grow and to compete fairly. He reiterated that the Army has identified more than 400 products, which it has committed not to import.
“This is a clear signal to the local industry for investment and manufacturing as there’s a ready market within the armed forces. Another major initiative is earmarking 25% of the defence R&D budget for the private sector. The announcement has been made and we hope to see the implementation soon. This is a game-changing decision by the government to move away from exclusive dependence on DRDO or the DPSUs for research. As this manifests on ground, we will see a unique ecosystem in the country,” Raju said.
Further, as part of emergency procurement — the Centre has allowed it for the fourth time — the Army plans to buy more than 80 products each with a value of around Rs 200 crore to Rs 300 crore.
“These orders will be placed within the next three-four months and the industry is expected to deliver the same within the next year after that. We are expecting the industry to come on board and deliver products within time. We expect you to rapidly absorb technology and produce the goods whenever you go in for joint production or joint venture either with DRDO or foreing partners,” he added.
The RTN-B which is part of the Army Design Bureau (ADB), MoD said, will leverage ASC Centre and College’s location (Bengaluru) to interface with trade, industry and academia with specific focus on IT, to coordinate advancements in technology for overall benefit of the Indian Army.
ADB’s role is to conduct technology scans, identify technologies for acquisition and development, and facilitate R&D efforts with industry, academia, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and DRDO.

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