22 July :General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Army Staff, Chairman CII, Shri Atul Kirloskar ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to address the distinguished gathering assembled for the International Technical Seminar on Future Main Battle Tanks (FMBT) and the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) this morning.
I must compliment the Directorate General of Mechanized Forces (DGMF) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for taking the initiative to organize this seminar.
2. I am happy to note that representatives from Defence Public Sector Units, leading companies from the Private Sector both International and National engaged in Defence Production, senior representatives from the Armed Forces, DRDO and the Ministry of Defence are participating in this Seminar. The cross section of delegates present, exhibits the enormous interest this Seminar evokes.
3. Technology is advancing at an exceptionally fast pace and is emerging as a dominant factor in warfare. Countries that can exploit emerging technologies and synergize the same with innovative operational doctrine and organizational structures will achieve a higher level of military effectiveness.
4. With the Revolution in Military Affairs, future wars, whether conventional or against a nuclear backdrop will be technology driven. Some of the technology denial regimes who possess critical technologies need to be offset, since they are liable to deny such technologies at crucial junctures. Therefore it is imperative that the country is self reliant.
In this regard we need not only look at the Defence-Industry Partnership but develop a much wider perspective at the National level, to achieve our goal of self reliance. Our focus should be towards creating a self Reliant Defence Industrial and Technological Base for the country that will enable India to play its rightful role in the emerging world order. The Government has taken a number of initiatives to encourage the Indian Industry to robustly participate in the modernization of our Armed Forces. These initiatives are reflected in the DPP 2006. A revised DPP 2008 is being released shortly that will reflect our commitment to transparency as well as encouragement to indigenous industry.
5. The Indian Defence industry has matured and gained considerable expertise in productionizing front line equipment, and can be compared to some of the established defence industries the world over. However, we need to develop and master key technologies in our quest for self reliance. To this end, our domestic R&D needs to be carefully nurtured and exploited in both the public and private sector. It would be desirable to ensure that the available capability, infrastructure and resources including intellectual capital amongst our IITs, Academia and other institutions are harnessed and optimally utilized in developing critical technologies in our goal towards self-reliance. A strong, healthy, and mutually beneficial partnership between public and private sector will be critical in delivering the defence capability and in sustaining a powerful domestic industrial base for the future.
6. It should be our endeavour to achieve maximum synergy between the Defence, Public, and Private Sectors, in order to create a competitive defence technology edge and strengthen the defence industry base in our country. I would also like to reiterate that for foreign firms, India has undoubtedly emerged as an attractive and favoured destination to forge alliances for more cost effective production of defence equipment. It is a known fact that no country can develop and manufacture all items of equipment and sub systems on their own. We are in an era of inter-dependence. As we look ahead, formation of joint ventures for co-development and co-production of defence equipment for the purpose of cost effective production in India, both for indigenous requirements and for export is a very viable option, which should be exploited.
7. The Army has taken the much-needed initiative to engage the Indian Industry in its modernization plans. This seminar is an excellent platform for an exchange of views between the Defence Forces, Indian Industry, and Academia. I am confident that the seminar will give the right impetus to harness the core competencies and capabilities of our private sector in R&D, design, development and manufacture of defence equipment and would take the country a step closer towards achieving self-reliance in producing a Future Main Battle Tank and a Future Infantry Combat Vehicle.