Chief of the Army Staff Inau­gu­rates the Army De­sign Bureau

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ro­hit Goel

GEN­ERAL DAL­BIR SINGH, THE Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), along with Lt Gen­eral M.M.S. Rai, Vice Chief of Army Staff, and Lt Gen­eral Subrata Saha, Deputy Chief of Army Staff ( P&S), for­mally an­nounced the es­tab­lish­ment of the Army De­sign Bureau dur­ing an Army Sem­i­nar on Make Projects or­gan­ised in part­ner­ship with the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII) in New Delhi on Au­gust 31, 2016. Sec­re­tary De­fence Pro­duc­tion A.K. Gupta was the guest of hon­our at the event, which was at­tended by a large num­ber of dig­ni­taries and se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tives of In­dian in­dus­try, academia and lead­ing re­search agen­cies. The COAS also launched the ‘Make in In­dia Army Web­site’ which was hosted live dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion of the sem­i­nar.

In his open­ing ad­dress R.S. Bha­tia, Chair­man of CII Land Sys­tems Sub-com­mit­tee, ap­plauded the Army’s ini­tia­tives to reach out to in­dus­try for ‘Make Projects’. He em­pha­sised that the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) can make suc­cess­ful use of ‘Make Projects’ in im­port sub­sti­tu­tion as with in­creas­ing lev­els of im­port sub­sti­tu­tion, In­dia will be closer to its goal of self-re­liance. Gen­eral Dal­bir Singh also high­lighted the need for gov­ern­ment to hand­hold the in­dus­try, es­pe­cially MSMEs, and as­sist them to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the de­fence pro­cure­ment pro­grammes.

A.K. Gupta spoke about the ini­tia­tives taken by MoD dur­ing the last two years to fa­cil­i­tate larger par­tic­i­pa­tion of the In­dian de­fence in­dus­try in meet­ing the re­quire­ments of the In­dian armed forces. He also ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion that the Army De­sign Bureau has fi­nally been set up to be a repos­i­tory of all tech­no­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion of Army’s warfight­ing as­sets and also act as a cat­a­lyst and fa­cil­i­ta­tor for par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­dus­try, academia, R&D or­gan­i­sa­tions to ful­fill the “dream of self-re­liance”.

Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, Gen­eral Dal­bir Singh em­pha­sised the need for the Army De­sign Bureau as this will en­able faster tri­als, quicker induction of equip­ment as well as fast-track the pro­cure­ment process and the mod­ernisa- tion of the In­dian Army. Re­fer­ring to the Ord­nance Fac­tory Board (OFB), COAS said that the re­quire­ments of the In­dian Army are large and only one agency can­not meet all the re­quire­ments. In­dus­try in­volve­ment is a must as the ul­ti­mate se­cu­rity of a na­tion is self-re­liance. He con­grat­u­lated all in mak­ing the Army De­sign Bureau a real­ity.

Ear­lier, dur­ing the an­nual press brief on the oc­ca­sion of Army Day 2016, the COAS had an­nounced that the In­dian Army was soon go­ing to have its own De­sign Bureau. Rapid changes in tech­nol­ogy and con­se­quent changes in warfight­ing tech­niques, re­quires the user, i.e. the Army, to be con­stantly in­volved at ev­ery stage from con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion, de­sign, de­vel­op­ment, tri­als, and pro­duc­tion to sus­te­nance. To fa­cil­i­tate the same, the Army De­sign Bureau shall be the in­ter­face of the Army with the De­fence Re­search and Devel- op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), academia, de­fence pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ings (DPSUs), OFBs and pri­vate in­dus­try paving the way for high qual­ity re­search and de­vel­op­ment of de­fence prod­ucts.

In the run-up to the es­tab­lish­ment of Army De­sign Bureau, the In­dian Army un­der­took a se­ries of Armyin­dus­try-academia in­ter­ac­tions since Jan­uary this year. Lt Gen­eral Subrata Saha and his team of se­nior of­fi­cers car­ried out ex­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tions with a view to pro­mot­ing aware­ness on Army’s mod­erni­sa­tion needs, dis­cov­er­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the in­dus­try and en­cour­ag­ing long-term re­search in the academia at var­i­ous re­gional in­dus­trial hubs across the coun­try. Twenty such in­ter­ac­tive ses­sions have been car­ried out till date. In­dus­try cap­tains of ma­jor de­fence in­dus­tries, MSMEs, start-ups have par­tic­i­pated in these ses­sions. In ad­di­tion, the team has car­ried out in­ter­ac­tions with a num­ber of lead­ing in­sti­tutes like the In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy at Delhi, Mum­bai, Chen­nai and Gand­hi­na­gar and PSG In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Ap­plied Re­search at Coim­bat­ore. These events pro­vided an ex­clu­sive op­por­tu­nity to in­dus­try and academia rep­re­sen­ta­tives to un­der­stand the re­quire­ments and in­ter­act with the In­dian Army to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tions di­rectly from the user. The In­dian Army will soon be pub­lish­ing a com­pre­hen­sive com­pen­dium giv­ing out spe­cific prob­lem def­i­ni­tions which shall help the R&D fra­ter­nity in de­vel­op­ing in­dige­nous so­lu­tions for the Army’s mod­erni­sa­tion needs. In or­der to stream­line the pro­cure­ment process fur­ther, the Army has also ini­ti­ated a num­ber of other steps to in­clude struc­tural changes in the pro­cure­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and is­sue of com­pen­dium of re­vised SOPs in line with the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) 2016.

Fol­low­ing the for­mal an­nounce­ment of es­tab­lish­ment of the Army De­sign Bureau and launch of the web­site, a de­tailed de­lib­er­a­tion on the Army’s ‘Make Projects’ was car­ried out in the sec­ond ses­sion of the sem­i­nar. The Army has iden­ti­fied 10 projects under ‘Make’ cat­e­gory for man­u­fac­tur­ing by do­mes­tic de­fence in­dus­try. In­dian Army is con­sid­er­ing more projects to be taken up in ‘Make’ cat­e­gory, for which the pre­lim­i­nary process is al­ready on.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen­eral Dal­bir Singh for­mally an­nounc­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the Army De­sign Bureau

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