Ju­di­cious mix of self-re­liance and ac­qui­si­tions re­quired


Con­sider this, In­dia is all set to be­come one of the four largest mil­i­tary pow­ers in the world by the end of 2020. In Asia, it has the sec­ond largest ac­tive mil­i­tary per­son­nel af­ter China. It is the largest im­porter of weapons over the last five years and the sev­enth largest mil­i­tary spender. All th­ese are re­quired as in the north­ern bor­ders the threat per­cep­tions are omi­nous, while in­ter­nally there are dis­rup­tive ele­ments. The armed forces have to be truly armed and by truly armed we mean ‘mod­ern equip­ment’.

It is in this back­ground, we wel­come the up­dated Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Roadmap (TPCR) 2013, just re­leased by the In­te­grated De­fence Staff. The TPCR 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 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. It has to be a ju­di­cious mix of in­dige­nous tech­nolo­gies and from over­seas com­pa­nies.

The De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony has rightly said that our de­fence forces re­quire timely and cost-ef­fec­tive ac­qui­si­tion of de­fence equip­ment to en­able them to meet any chal­lenge to the coun­try’s se­cu­rity. The TPCR will also cre­ate aware­ness in in­dus­try of the ca­pa­bil­ity and tech­nol­ogy re­quire­ment of the armed forces and the ecosys­tems that need to be de­vel­oped for the same.

In this is­sue, we have men­tioned how the In­dian Army is on the path of be­com­ing a multi-di­men­sional and mod­ern out­fit, keep­ing in mind the fu­ture bat­tle­field which is go­ing to go be­yond ge­o­graph­i­cal space and phys­i­cal do­main.

As re­gards the In­dian Air Force, upgra­da­tion of com­bat air­craft and en­hance­ment of heavy air­lift ca­pa­bil­i­ties should be con­tin­u­ous ef­forts and the govern­ment of the day has to take note of th­ese re­quire­ments. As for the In­dian Navy is con­cerned, the lead time for naval plat­forms takes a long time and the au­thor­i­ties should take note of th­ese and cre­ate and de­velop as­sets in proper per­spec­tive. It is good that the doc­u­ment talks about air-launched anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare weapons and other mod­ern tech­nolo­gies.

The TPCR keeps in mind the dy­namic changes that are tak­ing place in tech­nolo­gies that go in se­cur­ing the na­tion and also in na­tion-build­ing tasks. The fo­cus should be on fu­tur­is­tic tech­nolo­gies.

Among the fu­tur­is­tic tech­nolo­gies would in­clude snoop­ing de­vices. In his frank and forth­right col­umn, Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch dwells on Ed­ward Snow­den’s dis­clo­sure that the US National Se­cu­rity Agency has been snoop­ing glob­ally. Stat­ing that there has been a sharp in­crease in pub­licly dis­closed vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties across se­cu­rity prod­ucts dur­ing 2012 and fu­ture pre­dic­tion is of in­creased at­tacks on se­cu­rity prod­ucts, com­pa­nies or so­lu­tions and that we have to live with this re­al­ity till we de­velop in­dige­nous op­er­at­ing sys­tems, hard­ware, soft­ware and chips.

We look for­ward to your feed­back as to help us sharpen our cov­er­age of news and anal­y­sis.

Happy Read­ing !

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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