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Self-reliance in defence is ‘strategic necessity’, says Army chief Naravane

Observing that India has “lagged behind slightly” in terms of the quick pace modernisation undertaken by our adversaries, and dependence of Indian armed forces on equipment of foreign origin needs to be addressed, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday said self-reliance in the defence sector has become a strategic necessity.

While addressing the arms-industry partnership virtually, the Army Chief pitched for a self-reliant India to become the main player in the global economy.

“Today self-reliance in defence has become a strategic necessity. It is imperative for us to invest in building long term indigenous capabilities for application across the entire spectrum of conflict. Considering the quick pace of defence modernisation being undertaken by our adversaries, we are lagging behind slightly. The continuous and heavy dependence of Indian armed forces on equipment of foreign origin needs to be addressed through indigenous capability development,” he said.

Reviewing the last year, the Army Chief said, “2020 was a unique year with twin challenges of the COVID pandemic and the belligerence on the northern borders. The events of the past year have brought to the fore the vulnerability of global supply chains, underscoring the need for self-reliance.”

The Army Chief said that private industries are providing defence equipment including artillery guns, radars, and a large numbers of weapons.

“Self-reliant India will enable the country to depend on itself in all areas and become the main player in the global economy,” he said.
Naravane further pitched for the armed forces to equip themselves with niche technologies.
“Niche technologies, including artificial intelligence, autonomous unmanned systems, long-range precision technology, quantum computing, swarm drones are a better few and all these will certainly need to be acquired and absorbed as part of our deliberate and continuous process,” he said.

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25 Feb 2021, 3:50 AM (GMT)

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