‘Make in India’ remains our article of faith: Naval Chief

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on April 11, 2018 Published on April 11, 2018

Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister, has a word with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Indian Naval Staff   -  BusinessLine

Nirmala Sitharaman urges the Defence sector to replicate ISRO’s success

“The Indian Navy has been relentless in pursuing indigenisation, and ‘Make in India’ remains ‘an article of faith for us,” said Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Indian Naval Staff.

Self-reliance is the only mantra for strategic autonomy. The path to self-reliance in Defence needs to be chartered meticulously to give further boost to indigenisation, Indian Navy has outlined an indigenisation plan, which has been shared with the industry.

“It is our endeavour to encourage both public and private enterprises to contribute towards progressive increase in indigenous content in all future ships,” he said in his keynote address at 9th Assocham International Conference Aerospace & Defence.

He was speaking on the topic ‘Bolstering Make in India in Defence Sector’, on the sidelines of the four-day DefExpo 2018, which started at Thiruvidanthai, about 35 km from Chennai on the East Coast Road.

Indigenous development of high end technology, translating it into Defence hardware, inducting it into service and standardising it is no mean task. This process will require many challenges to be overcome, not only by designers and manufacturers but also in the procurement process, he said.

Indian Navy, he said, is proud of the fact that all 33 platforms ranging from submarines to aircraft carriers that are currently under order are being built by Indian shipyards.

In fact, the last induction INS Kiltan, an anti-submarine warfare corvette, commissioned in October last year had an indigenous content of about 90 per cent. “It is being our endeavour to progressively increase the indigenous content in every ship that we construct,” he said.

Indian Navy is one of the few navies globally that has its own ship design capability that is ably supported by indigenous ship building.

Hi-tech manufacturing

A partnership with DRDO, public and private enterprises has resulted in many successes in communication system, advanced underwater systems and sensors, combat management system and radar, he said.

In her speech, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had mastered the art of developing cost-effective technology and kept abreast of latest technological development. This can be replicated among Defence research organisation too to develop ‘tech-savvy, high tech and frontier technology-related manufacturing’. “ISRO has reached a pinnacle. It is able to do what any other country would do in a budget that is ten times more than what we can do,” she said

“In the Defence, there are many more such research institutions, including DRDO about whom I have raised lot of questions now and then. Is it possible for us to cull out every such vertical and with private participation we should be able to come out with tech savvy, high tech and frontier technology-related manufacturing? Government can play a role from the point of policy, regulation, buying and contracting customers from abroad to make it easy,” she said, adding “we don’t need many years for it (to replicate ISRO like success).”

In engineering and automobile, Indian Industry has already proven that it has achieved global standards. “There are time when we are told that globally wherever there is a car, there is a product or component that has gone from India. Should we just stop with that? Should we stop at automobiles? should we stop with making auto components and not the main platforms themselves. Time is up now, high time we from the industry and government, sit together and work together and that we should do, can do for future. We should plan now,” she asked.

Published on April 11, 2018
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