Defence experts call for more indigenous arms

Chandigarh, Dec 9:
Defence experts Saturday called for development of more indigenous equipment of Information Warfare in the country to build an edge against adversaries in the battlefield, a Punjab government release said.
Participating in a discussion on ‘Information Warfare- the new face of war’, at the Military Literature Festival (MLF) here, Lieutenant General (Retd) Vijay Oberoi said despite major advancements in the field, India was still banking on Information Warfare Techniques imported from other countries, which could be very fatal.
Citing an example, he said that GPRS technology, belonging to the US, did not perform as well during the Kargil War as was expected to, the release said.
Lieutenant General (retd) Oberoi said at a time when all forms of weapons, whether nuclear, conventional or sub conventional, were being managed by computers it was not good “we are still banking on equipment made by others”.
In his address, Lieutenant General (retd) R S Panwar said while countries like the US, China and Russia had already taken concrete steps to strengthen their Information Warfare techniques, India was still to take an appropriate call on it.
He said that like Army, Navy, Air Force, Space and Cyber Domain, it was also a part of the modern warfare.
Panwar batted for framing new doctrines and new structures, besides adequate skill development to give major push to Information Warfare in the country, the release said.
Addressing the gathering, Lieutenant General (retd) S P Kochar said that Information Warfare must be seen as an enabler to support the Commander during the war operations.
Taking part in a discussion on ‘Military Industrial Base and Make in India’, former Chief of Indian Army General (retd) V P Malik said India was importing 14 per cent of the total arms and ammunition globally, which was more than what China and Pakistan import collectively.
He said that in 1992, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had chalked out a 10-year plan under which the then trend of 80 per cent import of weapons and 20 per cent export was to be reversed within ten years. However, General Malik said in 2005 it was found exports had increased to just 30 per cent and imports had decreased to 70 per cent.
The former Army Chief said India has a lot of potential to augment exports of weapons but it could be ensured only if they were first consumed by the Indian Army.
He advocated that out of 39 Ordinance Factories, which were producing items used in World War II and earlier, few must be disinvested and the resources generated from them should be utilized to upgrade the remaining factories to produce high quality armaments.
Addressing the gathering, Vice Admiral (retd) H S Malhi called for a paradigm shift in Defence Production. Citing the figures, he said Rs 75,000 crore was the annual import of weapons in country whereas Rs 2500 crore was the value of weapons exported from the country.
Vice Admiral (retd) H S Malhi said the figure of imports was likely to swell up to Rs 35,000 crore by 2025, adding it needs to be reversed immediately.

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