Higher Spending Needed to Cut Imports

Indian Army

New Delhi. With focus on manufacture of defence equipment being on indigenisation, a top army officer emphasized on the need to increase spending on research and development in the defence sector to reduce the import dependence.

Stressing on the need for more funds for this purpose, the Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen M.M. Naravane told industry captains “we have the capability but unfortunately we have not built upon it, or we have not changed with time.”

While under the ‘Make’ process, the service headquarters will do the entire hand-holding and not make unreasonable demands, according to Naravane, it is time to become self-reliant.

Addressing the industry at a seminar on ‘ARMY MAKE PROJECTS – 2019’ jointly organized by Indian Army and industry body FICCI, he said the Make-II, private sector companies can take up product development on their own and be allowed to pitch it to the services.

Over the last couple of years, in an effort to get clearances by the Service Headquarters, criteria for taking up projects has been simplified. So far the Indian Army has put out around 32 projects under the Make II category for the private sector to take up and today another 11 projects were unveiled.

In his address, Lt Gen Raj Shukla, Director General, Perspective Planning, said that by September 2020, some of the solutions offered by the private sector will be inducted in the Indian Army. To encourage the private players and start-ups the service headquarters have set up the project facilitation teams which are the primary interface between the service and industry during the design and development stage.