Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh on Thursday said that there is a need to change the approach from 'acquiring technology' to 'development of technology' in order to achieve desired level of indigenization, and added that the aim should be to equip the Indian armed forces with state of art equipments to bring them at par with the world leaders.
Singh, who inaugurating a two-day seminar on Night Fighting Capability here, addressed a galaxy of senior officials from armed forces, production agencies, industry from India and abroad and scientists from DRDO and academia.
Appreciating the strides made in indigenous design and development and production of equipment to enhance night fighting capabilities, Singh emphasized on self-reliance in the field of instrumentation and to reduce the import content to a minimum.
He also emphasized the need of greater synergy among different stakeholders in the process of development i.e. DRDO, public sector and private industry.
Stressing on the need to further improve indigenous capabilities in this area, he said, "we are facing incursions from across the land borders and there is need to have early warning systems to handle such situations more effectively.
A monograph on EO/IR technologies brought out by IRDE, Dehradun was released by the Minister of State for Defence on this occasion.
Trekking the development of night vision devices by DRDO from its earliest days, Dr. V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, Secretary Deptt. of Defence RandD and DG DRDO highlighted the achievements of DRDO in the field of electro-optics.
He also mentioned about the development of 'Thermal Imaging based commander's sight for T-72 and T-90 tanks as well as BMPs, thus removing the night blindness of these Armoured Fighting Vehicles.
Mentioning about the progress made by IRDE in this critical area, he gave the example of recently developed Integrated Multi Functional Sight that weighs within 3.5 kg, as compared to the 1st generation devices of similar nature that used to weigh around 55 kg.
Emphasizing the need to strengthen manufacturing infrastructure in the country, he stated that the country had to gear up to produce the advanced Thermal Detectors indigenously, "Our biggest weakness is the availability of infrared imaging detector fabrication facilities.
Delivering the keynote address, Lt. Gen. SK Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff briefed about the army acquisition plans for the next decade and expected DRDO to match the expectations of the armed forces. The partnership of private industry could be crucial, he emphasized. The Services today are looking for innovative technological solutions to stay ahead of their adversaries.
Anil Kumar, CMD, BEL in his address put forth the industry perspective. He assured that BEL centres are always ready to support the indigenisation efforts of the country and will deliver the quality instruments in time to the armed forces.
The seminar aimed at familiarizing Armed forces with the capabilities of DRDO in this field and understand their present and future requirements is attended by senior officers from the Armed Forces, the Ordnance factories, public sector giants like Bharat Electronics and private sector partners.
Eight foreign firms from countries France, Belgium, Greece, Israel, Netherlands and USA also participated and exhibited their products.
Convener Avnish Kumar, Scientist "G" informed that the two day seminar was being attended by nearly 350 delegates including about 100 from services, 46 from public sector, 40 from Indian industries, 31 foreign delegates and delegates from various government and DRDO labs.
An exhibition of the night Vision equipments developed by DRDO and led to production by BEL, Ordinance factories and private partners was also organized. A variety of thermal Imagers covering wide range of applications for Army, Navy and Air force.
EOFCS for navy, HHTI with LRF, Commander's TI sights for T-72, T-90 and BMP, Commander's Panoramic sight for MBT, Holographic sight and Light-weight Laser Target Designator were the main equipment exhibited by IRDE.