I am delighted to participate in this International Seminar on Force Multiplier technologies for Naval and Land Warfare The topic of my Theme Talk, is “Multi-dimensions of Technology & Partnership”. The presentation will be in four parts. The first part discusses high technology in India and the core competence. The second part is on India's aspirations of Self-reliance in the defense system and the linkages between acquisitions and indigenous development. The third part visualizes the growth of technological capabilities in India with multiple partnerships and emerging industry complex. The fourth part deals with the emerging battlefield and force multiplication with re-engineering business strategy needs.

High Technology in India

During the last 3 decades, India gave high priority in certain areas of technology – Space, nuclear, and defense, IT, and agriculture. India put remote sensing satellites on its own PSLV and build communication satellites to the requirements. India's GSLV for communication satellites will be available in the next year. Similarly, India has acquired the capacity to build nuclear weapons and strategic missiles.

India can produce a series of defense systems like small arms to certain types of tactical missiles, armor, electronic warfare systems, sonars, and torpedoes.

Software strength

One of the very important core-competencies India has, is IT. Several software products have been developed and integrated with weapon systems to augment their performance. Some of the software packages have been exported. Indian software houses have exported software products worth 2 billion dollars in 1998-99 and. plan to reach 4 billion dollars in 1999-2000. The message, I would like to convey today is that India has the experience of integrating high-performance software with sensors to enhance the performance, compared to some of the state-of-the-art high-cost sensors. We have used such sensors in the PRITHVI missile successfully to get an accuracy of international standards.

Industrial strength and Centers of Excellence

Our industries during the last 25 years were highly dependent on technologies to come from organizations or license production from abroad. Today by doing certain joint programs, they have reached a stage of design, development, and production of various systems and have acquired technology absorption capability. Several Indian industries have got the ISO 9000 certification and their products are meeting international standards. DRDO alone has started many, design centers in the country. Similarly, we have world-class labs that can design and build microprocessors, devices, supercomputers, launch vehicles, and missiles. We have also established high technology facilities with silicon and gallium arsenide foundries, and software parks. The internationally known academic institutions, societies, national collaboration ventures in the area of robotics and artificial intelligence, electro-optics, and biomedical technology are our technological strength.

Self-reliance in defense systems

Self-reliance is a very important tool particularly for India with all-around technology denial regimes. Aircraft can be sold to India, but not the aircraft design and technology such as flight control systems. Now tanks are available to India, whereas important technologies of armor, design, and materials, and fire control system are not available. Some countries can sell EW of vintage technology, denying super components and mil-grade subsystems. Hence, the development has taken place with indigenous technology. Technology denied is technology gained. We live in a strange world. Hence India has decided to focus on the self-reliance mission aiming for 70% indigenous systems by 2005. In this mission partnership for development and production are possible.

Technology Profile & Industrial complex

Due to Technology growth in multiple mission-oriented R&D institutions and industrial partners, India has made rapid progress from armor development to reentry technology and electronic warfare systems. This can be further enhanced with an intensive partnership with industries and also international collaborations through joint ventures.

The Defence Industry complex will emerge with integrated establishments of Defence R&D, defense production, Indian industry with a consortium approach to the development of core competence and critical and strategic infrastructure. The defense industry complex will need a foundation of better performance, quality, and cost-effectiveness and with reduced cycle time. DRDO has opened eight laboratories to transfer, technology to Industry in multiple areas to provide a competitive edge to the industry.

Emerging battlefield scene

The future warfare environment will be technologically intensive. In the coming decade, weapon effectiveness in time will decide military strength. The candidates that will govern the high technology warfare will be the missile systems, UAV, EW and IT, and the precision delivery systems. The Force Multiplication is based on the platform and of existing and future sensors, radars, sonars, and seekers. A suitable mix of these will provide force multiplication. For example, it is possible to have UAVs with electro-optic sensors and IR sensors, synthetic aperture radar for their primary role of reconnaissance. But UAVs can also be combined with EW systems or they can even deliver a certain type of payloads.

Re-engineering and Business strategy

A developing country has a mission to become a developed country. The developed country would like to sustain its developed status. Both of them have got a unique identical need for production and marketing the products. Hence they have to coexist and, become partners of development through a win-win approach.

India, like any other country, has two major requirements. The defense systems should have affordability & cost-effectiveness coupled with performance. Of course, with the increasing global competition, we witness globally many business houses merging, many collaborations coming in and strategic business alliances taking place. India's strength of technology base, cost-effectiveness, partnership with certain countries will mutually enhance business opportunities. The central theme we would like to focus on today is the technology collaborations between Indian establishments and partner countries through co-development and joint ventures.

Concluding Remarks

Science and Technology is indeed a great gift to humanity. The technological partnership is very important for the nations' mutual economic prosperity. Scientists, technologists, and industrialists from various countries must join together to combat technology denial regimes.

Source: Press Release
Date: October 13, 1999