Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Roadmap 2013

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The In­te­grated De­fence Staff has re­leased an up­dated Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Roadmap (TPCR) 2013, the sec­ond in two years, that cov­ers the ex­pan­sive wish list of tech­nolo­gies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties that the armed forces in­tend to ac­quire ei­ther in­dige­nously or from abroad in the course of the next 15 years. It is, in ef­fect, the un­clas­si­fied ver­sion of the longterm in­te­grated per­spec­tive plan (LTIPP) that seeks to syn­er­gise re­quire­ments and ca­pa­bil­i­ties be­tween the three armed forces and the In­dian Coast Guard in a man­ner that lends to joint­man­ship, ef­fi­ciency, lethal­ity and econ­omy of re­sources.

The doc­u­ment lays down its in­tended pur­pose thus: In­duc­tion of new weapon sys­tems is cost and time in­ten­sive. Build­ing com­plex plat­forms like ships, sub­marines, tanks and fighter jets has a long lead time which is con­stantly chal­lenged by the race to keep up with the re­lent­less march of tech­nol­ogy. It is there­fore im­per­a­tive that the long-term re­quire­ment of ca­pa­bil­ity be iden­ti­fied and un­der­stood for ap­pro­pri­ate tech­nol­ogy to be de­vel­oped in­dige­nously. The TPCR in­tends to pro­vide the in­dus­try an over­view of the di­rec­tion in which the armed forces in­tend to head in terms of ca­pa­bil­ity over the next 15 years, which in turn would drive the tech­nol­ogy in the de­vel­op­men­tal process.

It is, in ef­fect, a ref­er­ence guide of in­ter­est to in­dus­try, de­vel­op­ers, so­lu­tion providers and ven­dors both in In­dia and abroad.

“Our de­fence forces re­quire timely and cost-ef­fec­tive ac­qui­si­tion of de­fence equip­ment to en­able them to meet any chal­lenge to coun­try’s se­cu­rity. If they have to ef­fec­tively meet th­ese chal­lenges, we must adopt a holis­tic ap­proach to­wards de­fence ac­qui­si­tion right from the plan­ning to fi­nal dis­posal of the weapon sys­tem with­out com­pro­mis­ing on trans­parency, fair­ness and pro­bity at any level,” writes De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony in the pre­am­ble to the ex­haus­tive new doc­u­ment re­leased re­cently by the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD).

In the words of the MoD, this is a doc­u­ment at­tempt­ing to cre­ate aware­ness in in­dus­try of the ca­pa­bil­ity and tech­nol­ogy re­quire­ment of the armed forces, and will be reg­u­larly up­dated as and when plans are re­vised and would there­fore at­tempt to pro­vide the lat­est in­puts on the Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Re­quire­ment of the armed forces over a 15-year pe­riod. In­ter­est­ingly, the MoD stresses that it hopes that this would ad­dress the in­dus­try’s con­cern about a level play­ing field. “On the part of in­dus­try, it is ex­pected that this doc­u­ment will en­cour­age them to put forth firm pro­pos­als for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the self-re­liance process in terms of R&D, pro­duc­tion and prod­uct sup­port com­mit­ments. It is also en­vis­aged that the in­dus­try would be proac­tive and in fu­ture sug­gest op­tions to the armed forces vis-à-vis their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and avail­able tech­nolo­gies. Tak­ing a cue from the in­for­ma­tion dis­sem­i­nated through this doc­u­ment, the in­dus­try may un­der­take ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity build­ing so as to cut down on time pe­riod for the ac­qui­si­tion cy­cle,” it of­fers.

The doc­u­ment also lays marked em­pha­sis on the need to in­di­genise and make In­dian prod­ucts for the armed forces the norm. It in­di­cates that the In­dian armed forces have iden­ti­fied tech­nolo­gies re­quired to be in­ducted in de­vel­op­ment of fu­ture ca­pa­bil­ity. The De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure has ar­tic­u­lated the means of ob­tain­ing th­ese ei­ther through the ‘Buy (In­dian)’, ‘Buy (Global)’, ‘Buy and Make’, ‘Make’ or the newly in­tro­duced ‘Buy and Make (In­dian)’ cat­e­gories. The coun­try has had to per­force re­sort to ‘Buy (Global)’ op­tion in the past due to a host of rea­sons, which has been an ex­pen­sive propo­si­tion. Over-re­liance on im­ported hard­ware has the po­ten­tial to com­pro­mise on the coun­try’s de­fence pre­pared­ness in times of cri­sis, through im­po­si­tion of var­i­ous tech­nol­ogy de­nial regimes by the sup­plier. Self-re­liance is, with­out a doubt, the spirit of the doc­u­ment.

Das­sault Rafale has been se­lected as the fi­nal con­tender for In­dia’s MMRCA re­quire­ments

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