‘India’s security can’t be outsourced’: Army chief stresses on self-reliance | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘India’s security can’t be outsourced’: Army chief stresses on self-reliance

ByRahul Singh
Apr 23, 2024 07:59 PM IST

Army chief General Manoj Pande said the army is shaping ‘hard power’ capabilities through self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector

NEW DELHI: Army chief General Manoj Pande on Tuesday said the country’s security can neither be outsourced nor be dependent on the largesse of others, as he drew attention to the importance of self-reliance in the defence sector.

Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande addresses a conclave organised by All India Management Association (AIMA) on Tuesday. (MANI)
Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande addresses a conclave organised by All India Management Association (AIMA) on Tuesday. (MANI)

“In the context of capability development, if we are importing and are dependent for critical technologies on countries that possess them, we must be very clear that we will always remain one technology cycle behind,” he said while delivering a talk on Relevance of Hard Power in India’s Rise at a conclave organised by All India Management Association.

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“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. The impact of supply chain disruptions and weaponisation of denial regimes came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic and from the lessons of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. These developments have underscored that the security of the nation can neither be outsourced nor be dependent on the largesse of others,” he said.

Also Read: Russia expected to deliver two remaining S-400 systems by next year

The army is shaping ‘hard power’ capabilities through atmanirbharta or self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector, he stressed.

While economic power is the fountainhead of the nation’s growth, it is the military strength that lends it the ability to shape the outcomes necessary to protect and further its multifarious interests, Pande said.

“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.”

The unprecedented trends in the geo-strategic landscape, the limitless potential of disruptive technologies, the transforming character of modern wars and the profound changes in the socio-economic domain are the four key drivers of the army’s transformation efforts, the army chief said.

Also Read: India 4th largest military spender in 2023, says new Sipri report

“The army’s vision for the future is to transform into a modern, agile, adaptive, technology enabled and self-reliant future ready force capable to deter and win wars in a multi-domain operational environment across the full spectrum of operations to protect our national interests, in synergy with the other two services,” he said.

Pande highlighted the steps taken by the government to boost indigenisation including simplification of industrial licencing, participation of the private sector, foreign investment liberalisation, incentivisation for transfer of technology, promulgation of positive indigenisation lists and dedicated budget for domestic capital procurement.

“Currently, we have 340 indigenous defence industries working towards fructification of 230 contracts by 2025, which entails an outlay of 2.5 lakh crore,” he said.

In early April, the army said it plans to boost the ongoing atmanirbharta drive by setting up specialised Army Design Bureau (ADB) cells at various command headquarters, with the organisational restructuring aimed at absorption of niche technology for capability development.

“Organisational and procedural transformation will be undertaken to ensure induction/ absorption of niche technology towards futuristic capability development with a focus on Atmanirbharta. Towards this, the innovation potential of ADB will be upscaled, besides ADB cells being established at command headquarters,” the army said.

An initiative of the Narendra Modi government, ADB was launched in August 2016 and tasked with promoting research and development and acting as a bridge between the army and the private sector to meet the army’s requirements.

The move to set up new cells is expected to empower command headquarters, formations and unit commanders in the self-reliance pursuit, facilitating greater outreach to the industry, and identification and trials of niche technology.

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