Navy Still Dependent on External Assistance for Niche Technologies, Navy Chief Admiral Lanba
NEW DELHI: Despite the achievements in indigenous shipbuilding, the Navy continues to be dependent on external assistance for niche technologies, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said here on Wednesday.
“An important aspect in attaining 100% self-reliance in ship design and construction, therefore, is the indigenous development of high end technologies, their transition into shipborne equipment and systems, induction into Service and standardization. Self-reliance in defence production, which is a vital pre-requisite for achieving greater strategic autonomy, is no easy task and would require dedicated efforts by researchers, designers and manufacturers,” Admiral Lanba said.
He was addressing a two-day international seminar with the theme ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’, organised by FICCI and being attended by the top brass of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Integrated Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence, DRDO, industry leaders from India and abroad, academia and thinkers. The seminar provided a platform for an exchange of ideas on realising the indigenous development cycle for cutting edge technologies that would be vital to building India’s future navy towards meeting the Government’s vision of ‘Make in India’. Admiral Lanba who is also the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee stated that the Indian Navy has taken giant strides in the field of indigenous ship design and construction to transition from a ‘Buyer’s’ Navy to a ‘Builder’s’ Navy.
The Naval Chief said the Indian Navy has taken the first step in this direction by formally articulating its indigenisation plans and need for the development of state-of-the-art systems and equipment through various policy and vision documents. This, along with initiatives like ‘Make in India’, would go a long way in building sustainable models for development of platforms and equipment requiring niche technologies. Admiral Lanba highlighted the three primary requirements that need to be met while inducting a technology or a product – affordability, timely delivery and performance. To these primary imperatives, the Navy Chief went on to add a fourth dimension – that of life cycle sustenance by providing seamless technical support and making the technology future proof. He stated that this aspect is most vital for building a navy of the future and the support of the industry therefore extends well beyond just supply to lifecycle product support. On the occasion, Admiral Lanba released two publications pertaining to compilation of papers authored by Naval officers on future technologies and a knowledge paper authored by FICCI. The Navy Chief also launched a web portal on Defence and Aerospace, developed by FICCI. The Seminar is structured around dedicated sessions to deliberate on Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) – Projects for the Indian Industry; Modern Trends in Maritime Communications; Cyberspace Operations and Information Warfare; Shipborne Propulsion and Power Generation; Missiles, Underwater and Directed Energy Weapons; Opportunities for Coastal States; Surveillance and Detection Systems; Transformation in the Aviation Sector; Autonomous Vehicles; Disruptive Technologies; Warship Building in India and Building India’s Future Navy: Realizing the ‘Make in India’ Initiative. Also speaking on the occasion, Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Past President, FICCI and Chairperson, Max Financial Services Ltd, said that the Seminar would provide a platform to the industry captains to understand and deliberate on the technology imperatives for a future ready naval force. She asked the industry to articulate their vision on how they could partner the Indian Navy and the other Defence Forces in achieving the stated goal of self-reliance through indigenisation.