Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said “change is being seen in every sector” and “there is a great need for research and development in future defense technologies”.
The minister said that amidst changing technology and rising global security concerns, it is imperative that the Indian defense industry focus on modernizing the military and focus on specific technologies. He said that various laboratories of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) are working on technology in areas like quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology.
In his address after conferring DRDO’s Dare to Dream and Young Scientist Award, Singh said, “Our aim is to equip our forces with the latest machinery to meet any challenge.” He said changes are being seen in “every field today” including trade, economy, communications, strategic affairs and military power. “These changes taking place around the world are increasing the security needs of nations alike.”
“Due to global security concerns, border disputes and the importance of maritime affairs, countries around the world are today focusing on their military modernization and the demand for military equipment is increasing rapidly,” he said.
He said that DRDO’s Young Scientific Laboratories and Advanced Technology Centers have started working in areas like nanotechnology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and robotic technologies.
Three products and systems indigenously developed by DRDO were also handed over to the Armed Forces, including a new state-of-the-art video processing and switching module for the Air Force, a new Sonar Performance Modeling System for the Navy and a bundle. Blasting device MK-2 for the Army, which will be used during combat to enhance the mobility of mechanized infantry.
“There is also a need to develop dual-use technologies today, so that both military and civilians can take advantage of it on a large scale. Special attention will be given to research and development to provide state-of-the-art equipment to our armed forces. Today, when there is talk of transfer of technology from DRDO to industry, in the coming times, efforts should be made that our industry does not need it.
The minister also called for increasing the participation of the private sector in the defense industry. Historically, Singh noted, “we see that the private sector has little presence in the Indian defense industry”. He cited the availability of capital and technology, longer gestation period as some of the reasons.
Due to the measures taken by the government over the years, Singh said, “the number of contracts awarded to the indigenous defense industry has increased,” and the country, he said, has “moved rapidly in that direction”. Not only to meet our domestic security needs, but also to export technology and equipment abroad.