Sansad TV Perspective: Atmanirbhar in Defence: Part III

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic: Atmanirbhar in Defence

Anchor:– Vishal Dahiya

Guests: 

  1. Rajinder Singh Bhatia, President & CEO of Kalyani Group
  2. Jayant D. Patil, Director & Senior Executive VP (Defence and Smart Technology), L&T
  3. S.P. Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Defence Systems & Mahindra Aerospace & President, SIDM
  4. Maj. Gen (Retd.) P.K. Chakravorty, former Additional Director General Artillery, Army Headquarters

Context: The third positive indigenisation list of 101 defence items comprising major equipment/platforms has been released by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. 

A Brief Overview:

  • The indigenisation list signifies India’s active spirit towards establishing self-reliance in defence, thereby enhancing the defence manufacturing potential of the country. 
  • Enormous impetus has been provided to the domestic industries to produce the arms and equipment to meet the demands of the armed forces.
  • The 101 items will be incrementally procured from indigenous sources as per the provisions of Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. 
  • These weapons and platforms will be incrementally banned for import with some items having an embargo from December 2022 till 2027. 

Read about Defence Procurement Procedure in the linked article.

About the Third List:

This list of indigenous defence equipment has been notified by the Department of Military Affairs of the Ministry of Defence includes the following:

  1. Lightweight tanks
  2. Calibre mounted artillery gun systems
  3. Guided extended range rockets for Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher system
  4. Naval Utility Helicopters
  5. Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels
  6. Multi-function surveillance targeting and acquisition radar (MF STAR)
  7. Medium Range anti-ship missiles (MR SAM)
  8. Advanced Lightweight Torpedo
  9. High endurance autonomous underwater vehicle
  10. Medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle
  11. Anti-radiation missiles
  12. Loitering Munitions
  13. Light Combat Aircraft
  14. Onboard Oxygen Generation System

The Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System

  • The successful flight testing of the Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System and Pinaka Area Denial Munition rocket system has been carried out by DRDO and the Indian Army at Pokhran firing ranges. 

Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System (EPRS): Salient Features

  • The Pinaka rocket system has been developed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (a laboratory of the DRDO)  in Pune and is also supported by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory which is another Pune-based laboratory of DRDO. 
  • The EPRS is an upgraded version of the Pinaka variant which has been in service with the Indian Army for the last decade. 
  • After the completion of the performance and efficacy of the enhanced range version of Pinaka, the technology was transferred to industries like Munitions India Limited and Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur.
  • Different variants of munitions and fuzes which can be used in the Pinaka rocket system were also successfully tested in the Pokhran field firing range.  

Get a comprehensive idea about Pinaka in the linked article.

Transfer of Technology:

  • The DRDO has engaged in this process of indigenisation of defence equipment to strengthen the local manufacturing by signing 30 Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements with 25 domestic industries. 
  • The technologies include quantum random number generator, counter-drone system, laser directed energy weapon system, missile warhead, high explosive materials, high grade steel, specialised materials, propellants, surveillance and reconnaissance, radar warning receivers, mine barriers, firefighting suits, anti-mine boots and so on. 
  • About 68% of the defence capital budget has been allocated for domestic procurement. Additionally, 25% of the defence R&D budget is reserved for industry, start-ups and academia.

Significance: 

  • In accordance with the first and second lists, so far the Indian Armed Forces have signed around 31 projects worth Rs. 53839 crore along with the Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) for various projects. 
  • The notification of the third list will supply equipment of international standards to meet the demands of the armed forces. 
  • The third list of indigenisation of defence equipment is a potential initiative and effort to achieve self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector. 
  • Therefore, this step is an essential testimony that aims to transform India into a defence manufacturing hub. 

Ways Suggested:

  • Apart from a national defence agenda, there needs to be more engagement with the private sector for better capacity building, technology development and delivery of required platforms for weapons and instruments. This, according to the experts, will boost confidence in the domestic industry and thereby enhance the defence production capability. 
  • There needs to be more diverse technology intrusion with broad avenues of operations as the three lists of 310 defence equipment have been provided with a narrow scope to confront the security challenges in the upcoming days with the rapidly changing geopolitical scenario. 
  • The private sector can play a pivotal role in bringing new technologies with suitable infrastructure and policy framework in place empowering the armed forces with enormous resilience. 

Read more about Atmanirbar in Defence in Perspective, Sansad TV

Read more summaries of Perspective in the link.

Sansad TV Perspective: Atmanirbhar in Defence: Part III:- Download PDF Here

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