- General Pande said that the army was working closely with 340 Indian defense companies on 230 projects that will be completed by the end of the year.
- The army chief said that the current geo-strategic landscape is being shaped by trends that have never been seen before.
Thursday, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande said that recent global conflicts were a reminder that the country’s security can’t be outsourced or rely on the kindness of others. He also talked about how important it is for the defense manufacturing sector to be self-sufficient.
General Pande talked about the steps the government has taken to promote “Atma Nirbharta” (self-reliance) at a pre-event for the Chanakya Defence Dialogue 2023. These include releasing positive indigenization lists, setting aside budget for research and development, making ordnance factories more like businesses, focusing on defense exports, and creating defense corridors.
India banned the import of 98 weapons and systems a few weeks before the army chief’s comments. These included futuristic infantry combat vehicles, shipborne unmanned aerial systems, medium-range precision kill systems, a wide range of ammunition, radars, sensors, and parts for fighter jets, maritime surveillance planes, warships, helicopters, and tanks.
Union defense minister Rajnath Singh released the fifth positive indigenization list on October 4. This brought to 509 the number of big defense items that have been banned from being brought into the country in the last three years.
Different kinds of weapons and platforms were not allowed to be brought in on the previous lists. These included light tanks, naval utility helicopters, artillery guns, missiles, destroyers, ship-borne cruise missiles, light combat aircraft, light transport aircraft, long-range land-attack cruise missiles, basic trainer aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems, and multi-barrel rocket launchers.
In the next five to six years, these sites should become more like those in India.
The army and the Center for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) are working together to put together the Chanakya Defence Dialogue 2023. The discussion will start for the first time on November 3–4 at the Manekshaw Center in New Delhi.
Officials familiar with the matter say that it wants to do a full analysis of the security problems in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific. It will also focus on making a plan for working together to improve security in the area to strengthen India’s position as a ready, resurgent, and important player in the area.
General Pande said that the army was working closely with 340 Indian defense companies on 230 projects that will be completed by the end of the year. He also said that the army had found 45 tools that could be used in specific ways by the military.
The army chief said that the current geo-strategic landscape is being shaped by trends that have never been seen before. He also said that India’s rise in status brings recognition, more responsibilities, and possibilities.
He said that national interests will always come first, even though the international order is always changing and national security is becoming more important.