India is reportedly on the verge of finalizing a significant deal to acquire 31 MQ-9B Predator armed drones from the United States through a government-to-government arrangement. According to sources familiar with the matter, the U.S. Congress is anticipated to approve the supplies in the coming weeks. The final round of negotiations between American and Indian government officials will take place after the U.S. responds to India's Letter of Request (LoR) for the procurement of drones from General Atomics (GA), a prominent U.S. defense company.
The purpose behind India's acquisition of these long-endurance 'hunter-killer' drones is to enhance the surveillance capabilities of its armed forces, particularly along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. While the exact cost of the drones is yet to be determined through negotiations, estimates suggest that the procurement could amount to approximately USD 3 billion.
Sources reveal that teams from New Delhi and Washington will be appointed to finalize the deal, addressing details such as cost and other intricacies. The overarching objective is to conclude the agreement by March of the upcoming year. The impending deal signifies a strategic move by India to bolster its defense capabilities and bolster surveillance in sensitive border regions.
Lt General Anil Chauhan (retd) was appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff, more than nine months after the post fell vacant following the death of Gen Bipin Rawat.
The defence ministry issued a statement announcing the appointment of Lt Gen Chauhan.
"The Government has decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders," it said.
In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan had held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India.
In a significant shift of strategy, the United States and India will co-develop drones, a senior Pentagon official announced, as Washington seeks closer ties with Delhi as a way of countering China. India will build these aircraft and export them to other countries in its region.
New Delhi wants to diversify its weaponry, which is mainly Russian-made arms & ammunition And also develop its own defense industry.
India can then "export to our partners across the region, including in South and Southeast Asia at affordable price points." Pentagon cited the possibility of developing drones launched from airplanes and anti-drone defense systems.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Wednesday held talks with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow, focusing on bilateral, regional and global issues.
Both sides discussed issues relating to bilateral cooperation in the areas of security as well as topical issues on the regional and international agenda, according to a Russian readout.
"A wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation in the area of security, as well as topical problems on the regional and international agenda, were discussed," it said.
"The sides agreed to continue the dialogue between the two countries' Security Councils, having emphasised the progressive development of the Russian-Indian special and privileged strategic partnership," the Russian statement said.
It is learnt that various aspects of overall bilateral strategic cooperation and the situation in Afghanistan figured in the discussions.
India has been maintaining that the crisis in Ukraine must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. In the last few months, India has also increased the import of discounted crude oil from Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet over it by several Western powers.
India's crude oil imports from Russia have risen over 50 times since April and now it makes up for 10 per cent of all crude bought from overseas. India has also been in touch with several leading powers including Russia on the situation in Afghanistan.
In June, India re-established its diplomatic presence in Kabul by deploying a "technical team" in its embassy in the Afghan capital. India had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Taliban seized power last August following concerns over their security.
The Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship Yuan Wang 5 arrived Tuesday morning at Hambantota port, a strategically important deep sea port in southern Sri Lanka, China said the activities of its vessel will not affect the security of any country and should not be “obstructed” by any “third party” – a reference to India and its security concerns.
Asked about Delhi’s concerns and the delay in the visit of the Chinese ship, Qi Zhenhong, Beijing’s envoy in Sri Lanka, who was present at the Hambantota port during the ship’s arrival, told reporters, “I don’t know, you should ask the Indian friends… I don’t know. Maybe this is life.”
Last Saturday, Sri Lanka, which had deferred the visit of the Chinese military vessel following concerns raised by India, made a U-turn and allowed the ship to dock at the Hambantota port from August 16 to 22.
The Yuan Wang 5 is a powerful tracking vessel whose significant aerial reach — reportedly around 750 km — means that several ports in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh could be on China’s radar.
There was no official response from New Delhi to the development. On Sunday, ahead of the ship’s arrival, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickemesinghe said China will not be allowed to use the port of Hambantota for military purposes.
Read |India gifts aircraft to Sri Lanka, a day before China ship docks. Last week, before Colombo’s U-turn, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs had said, “Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and makes its own independent decisions.”
Ever since the Chinese took Hambantota port on a 99-year lease in 2017, India and the US have voiced concern that it could harm their interests. Ships of the Yuan Wang class can monitor the lands they pass.
In Beijing Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Yuan Wang 5 has “successfully berthed” at Hambantota port with “active cooperation from the Sri Lankan side”.
Express View |Chinese military vessel at Hambantota is a spectre that threatens the new equilibrium in India-Sri Lanka relations. He said when the ship arrived, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong hosted the onsite welcoming ceremony at Hambantota port, which Beijing took over on a 99-year lease as a debt swap in 2017.
Referring to Indian and US concerns over the ship, Wang said, “I want to stress again that the marine scientific research activities of the Yuan Wang 5 are consistent with international law and international common practice.” “They do not affect the security and the economic interests of any country and should not be obstructed by any third party,” he said.
Opinion |India's response to the presence of Chinese military vessels in the Indian Ocean needs to be more calibrated. He said the ceremony was attended by a representative of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickramasinghe besides “more than ten heads of parties and heads of friendly communities.”
“It will take some time for the Yuan Wang 5 research ship to complete the replenishment of necessary supplies,” he said. Ships of the Yuan Wang class are used to track satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches. The ships supplement Beijing’s land-based tracking stations.
In the past too, India has taken a strong view of the presence of Chinese military vessels in the Indian Ocean and has raised the matter with Sri Lanka. Ties between India and Sri Lanka had earlier come under strain over Colombo’s permission for a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to dock at one of its ports in 2014.
In 2017, Colombo leased the Hambantota port to China Merchants Port Holdings for 99 years, after Sri Lanka was unable to keep its loan repayment commitments. China is the main creditor of Sri Lanka in investment in infrastructure. Debt restructuring of Chinese loans is key to the island’s success in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.
India is witnessing a transitional phase towards self-reliance in defence sector and active and collective efforts are central to realise the dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
Addressing the CMDs and non-official directors of defence public sector undertakings during the first of its kind workshop held by the Department of Defence Production here, he exhorted them to ensure smooth implementation of various initiatives taken by the government towards achieving 'Aatmanirbharta in Defence'.
He listed various initiatives taken by Defence Ministry to achieve self-reliance including simplification of the acquisition process of defence equipment or platforms under Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, flexibility in offset guidelines, increase in FDI limit to 74 per cent under automatic route and up to 100 per cent under government route, simplification of the process of obtaining the license, the launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, and enhanced use of Artificial Intelligence in the defence sector.
Rajnath Singh said that the ministry has set a target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore of defence production by 2025, which includes the export of Rs 35,000 crore. He exuded confidence that the DPSUs will play a major role in achieving this goal with a contribution of 70-80 per cent, and urged the CMDs & NODs to work hand-in-hand to ensure that these public sector companies find a place among the world's best in different fields.
Terming NoDs as vigil keepers who keep a close watch on the strategy, performance, risk management, resources, key appointments, CSR, sustainable development and standards of conduct of DPSUs, he underlined their valuable contribution in helping the DPSUs reach their goals.
Singh also urged them to introduce best practices prevalent in the private sector and share insights & guidance in policy making. The NODs must encourage the DPSUs for greater R&D and motivate them for sensible risks, he added.
Amid ongoing protests against the new Army recruitment scheme 'Agnipath', Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday announced that government will reserve 10 per cent jobs in the Defence Ministry for Agniveers.
"Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh has approved a proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the job vacancies in Ministry of Defence for 'Agniveers' meeting requisite eligibility criteria", said Defence Ministry Office in a tweet.
The 10 per cent reservation will be implemented in the Indian Coast Guard and defence civilian posts, and all the 16 Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Defence Ministry Office added further. However, this reservation would be in addition to the existing reservation for ex-servicemen.
The announcement comes after four days of widespread protests and agitation over the scheme by aspirants in several parts of India.
The defence ministry official has also clarified that the necessary steps will be taken to implement these provisions.
"Necessary amendments to relevant recruitment rules will be undertaken to implement these provisions. Defence Public Sector Undertakings will be advised to make similar amendments to their respective recruitment rules. Necessary age relaxation provision will also be made", tweeted the ministry office.
Conflicts between societies and countries, despite so much of advancements in education, science & technology, have become alarming to an extent that if the human civilization will not open a serious discourse and take effective measures in the coming 21st century, the human aggression will one day turn out to be fatal for the existence of entire mankind, as Stephen Hawking pointed out while discussing the dangers for the coming generations. Many of us believe, especially after the COVID 2019 pandemic, that PRC (or China) has gone rogue due to its nefarious exercises in various domains, as a result of which, it has become a major concern and threat to the world, especially India.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of U.S.A, on March 26, 1958, although, pointed out that the United States and other nations should proceed with their peaceful program in space science and exploration, the immensely ambitious spacefaring nations lecherously crave dominance over the outer space. The Outer Space Treaty (OST) was formed in 1950, after the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were developed, with the ability to hit the targets, while travelling through space. The OST endorses the “peaceful use of space” by nixing the use and testing of nuclear weapons, military operations and bases in space. While the OST massively forbids the claim of dominance over space by any nation, it is still obscure on the use of conventional weapons in space and its commercialization. In addition, OST guidelines on banning military activities in space are highly groundless. As for China, the success of the “Two Bombs and One Satellite” project laid the foundation for advanced science & technology programs for its national defense. Even though space technologies have led to the significant advancement of the social well-being in 21st century, space has no longer remained a peaceful domain, because spacefaring nations like China have powerful ambitions to militarize space. Over a period, outer space has become a massively important domain in military operations since space assets of any country provide significant support to its military operations. This is a crucial aspect that has to be embraced while preparing the national security policy of India. Due to the increased space activities, there is an increase not only in the space competition, but an increase in the number of satellite launches, resulting in space debris, and an increase in the “serious level” of distrust between the spacefaring nations. This could lead to a “security dilemma” in the region, as also pointed out in 2019, by space security experts like Ajey Lele and A.M. Lubojemski in their works published separately in Astropolitics. A security dilemma resulting from outer space activities between China & India can generate insecurity, and instability and this is something that can even trigger a war.
Outer space offers myriads of prospects as well as risks that eventually bring about the concerns of space commercialization, space militarization and most importantly space war. Certainly, there is a flagitious ‘space-race’ going on the earth among the countries whose aftermaths are unimaginably precarious. Looking into the geopolitical situation of south Asia and China, it becomes even more challenging to handle the adversaries from both the borders of India i.e. western as well as eastern. The eastern border has a long Himalayan range, so, the landscape and weather conditions on the western side are very different from that of the eastern side, and, in order to face simultaneous challenges from both the adversaries i.e. Pakistan and China, the government machinery of India have to develop capabilities to tackle them. This is definitely not going to be easy, considering the fact that various other factors could pitch in and make the problem even more severe. One such factor is “outer space”, which acts a force multiplier for the air power, where both Pakistan and China are inclined to disturb the “peace” in the outer space and the primary support for such kind of activities appear to come primarily from China since it is much more superior in terms of science & technology compared to Pakistan.
Militarization of space is not a new concern as major space powers like USA and Russia have developed capabilities like kamikaze and stalker satellites to disable or destroy enemy satellites, but, what is distressing in the 21st century is the huge investment and acceleration of offensive as well as chest-thumping projects on outer space by China. One of the China’s chest-thumping exercises in space took place on 11 January 2007 when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), for the first time in its history, destroyed its own heavy, weather satellite, thereby showing its capabilities to the world through the launch of direct- kill, anti-satellite test (ASAT 2007). The direct hit to the defunct satellite created a large cloud of long-lasting space debris, the presence of which, will continue to create a serious threat for a long time to the existing International Space Station (ISS), and other orbiting satellites in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The controversial ASAT test by China had the potential to aggravate the spacefaring nations and such an event could be treated as a violation of the “Peaceful Uses of Outer Space”. In the last ten years or so, China has performed several tests, e.g., in 2013, China tested one of its satellites in a geosynchronous orbit, and where USA’s ISR satellites were placed which are generally deployed for spy activities. In 2015, again, satellites were tested by China, which was strong enough to destroy the USA’s satellites orbiting outside the earth’s atmosphere. During the launch of Aolong-I spacecraft, in 2016, China came up with a false claim and called the mission a “Debris Cleaner” in space, while the other reports red-flagged it to be an “Anti-Satellite Weapon” as it had a robotic arm designed for multiple uses. China has developed counter-space capabilities, equipped with anti-satellite missiles, satellite jammers and direct energy weapons. With these capabilities, China’s PLA can target the enemy satellite and shoot it within the blink of an eye. The “peace” proposition is lost when we scan the entire spectrum of Chinese space capabilities, as Chinese space weapons exist today only to dread the world and leave humanity to keep guessing about some horrific adversity in the future. In April 2011, NASA banned the involvement of Chinese astronauts and scientists in ISS due to security concerns, and, thereafter, China established its own crewed- space station, up in space where the visit of an astronaut and scientist, associated with NASA in any form, is highly forbidden. The Chinese space station has posed a threat to the world, as there is a high potency of the Chinese abducting the orbiting satellites of the target nations, or most wickedly, it may cause serious damage to the human life, active in the ISS. China is empowering its PLA and posturing for a vivacious war in the heavens in the future. The Chinese defense white paper of 2019 gives a strategic tenor to outer space. It is, therefore, clear that, along with the integration of space military capabilities, China is enraptured in the development of anti-satellite weapons and lethiferous counter-space technologies of various kinds that bestow the security and military needs of any country and poses a threat to U.S.A. as well as Russian satellites.
China, under its “China’s dream of becoming far stronger than the United States of America,” is aiming for better prosperity and global influence and it aspires to become a super-power in the next 20-30 years from now. Such a Chinese dream of becoming the world leader has been reflected in the recent past and the road to the Chinese dream will go through the development of advanced space programs, according to Xinhua. Now China has developed advanced technological capabilities in space some of which have disruptive capabilities. Moreover, the Beidou Satellite Navigation System developed by China, and the third after the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russian GLONASS system, has placed several satellites in space, thus the Beidou constellation continues to expand. The space capabilities developed by China is providing a strong boost to Pakistan’s space program, e.g., China has launched two satellites in Pakistan on 9 July 2018 from the Chinese soil, in fact, one of the satellites, i.e. Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite or PRSS-1, was developed for Pakistan by China Academy of Space Technology. An agreement was signed in 2019 between China and Pakistan on space exploration and that would see both states develop space-related science and technology, undertake astronaut training and carry out space missions. The technology transfer through CPEC and other routes and the increased cooperation between China and Pakistan, are a serious concern for India because the PRSS-1 is equipped with advanced instruments and technologies that could be used to keep an eye on India. It is, therefore, Xi Jinping’s vision of modernization and the Chinese dream appear to be very aggressive as it can have serious repercussions on India in the future. In the United Nations, China prefers to avoid discussing its serious level engagements with its all-weather friend i.e. Pakistan outer space. On one hand, Xi Jinping is aiming toward making China a space power, on the other hand, he had developed a station in SUPARCO, Pakistan for Beidou navigational system, which means that in days to come Pakistan is going to rely on Beidou to a large degree and its military will no doubt utilize the Beidou data against India.
According to some of the recent reviews of the US-China Economic and Security review commission, China’s modernization puts an emphasis on the development of dual-use technology and fusion of military-civil objectives for the military as well as economic growth. China considers space as a new battlefield. It develops false justifications and propaganda, e.g., on Shijian-17 satellite capabilities, China maintains that the satellite can be utilized for communication and space debris, but, in reality, the satellite has a robotic arm that has the potential to disable a satellite. In the document of China presented in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA Resolution 75/36, 2020), there is hardly any discussion of Chinese ASAT 2007, rather it blames USA for inciting China and insufficient peace laws for outer space. By blaming USA, China tries to justify the aggressive space strides that it has undertaken since the beginning of the 21st century. While in UNGA, China pops up to stand for the peace in outer space, regardless of its contentious space programs, it is quite likely that China just takes a fancy to engage the entire world by working on the lines of “hide your capacities, bide your time”.
The most basic factor behind the plummeting relationships between India and China is the long-term border dispute between the two countries. Even more surprising is to see that despite so much of efforts in the last 80 years or so on the international relations between China and India, China has its own, separate way of executing things, and every time, it comes with surprises of a kind that proves that negotiations and peace talks do not matter much for China, as it has its own way of handling issues and developing programs in a manner that could be considered highly non-standard, fatal and nefarious. After several efforts, visits, and negotiations, the relationships between the two Asian giants abruptly become very critical, it can be understood from the frequent skirmishes along the Sino-Indian border regions that were noticed by the entire world. China is a land of turmoil, it suffers, from middle-kingdom syndrome and pokes the world, and shows its ignobility in outer space. It is a country that has witnessed horrible incidents like the Great Famine of China, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and COVID-2019 outbreak from Wuhan. The Guangxi massacre cannot be discounted in any manner but China suppresses horrific incidents of cannibalism. The nuisance in Tibet on the ecosystem of China is already well documented. China, no doubt being supercilious, with the mentality of “winner at any cost”, emerges not just as an economic power but rather a threat to not only many countries but the emerging human civilization, earth and outer space. Thus the question arises whether and how China should be ‘dealt with’ firmly by the world’s major forces. The hodgepodge of China’s space program with its Chinese mindset is going to create a lot of ruckus in outer space in the near future that can turn out to be disastrous for the deep space missions and the human space endeavors.
Under Modi’s leadership, India has witnessed a major development and an unprecedented rise in the space domain. India showed its potential through Mission Shakti, i.e. India’s ASAT 2019, and it is a carefully orchestrated plan compared to China. India has its own GPS named “NAVIK” that can be used to gather data during times of conflict along the borders. The commercial arm of India’s Space Research Organization i.e. New Space India Limited (NSIL) has come into the picture. NSIL will be involved in PSLV production, SSLV manufacturing through Indian industries, launch services and prosper private entrepreneurship in space-related technologies. India appears to follow the Space 2.0 approach that was advocated by the space security experts like Malcolm Davis associated with an Australian think tank. The agencies like Defense Space Agency to handle the military issues and threats of space have come into the picture. In order to bring improved operational mechanisms in the area of Space Situational Awareness or SSA, the Directorate of Space Situational Awareness has been established, and the Network for space object Tracking and Analysis NETRA project has been initiated to keep a track from a control center on space object using radar and optical telescope. India’s space organization ISRO has signed MoU with research institutions like the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and ARIES, Nainital to develop space situational awareness capabilities. NETRA will be controlled from ISTRAC campus located in Bangalore. The deep-space missions of India are already in place and more such missions are under development. It is expected that a lot of spin-off technologies will be developed that would be helpful from the viewpoint of intelligence & security. India’s cooperation on SSA should be improved with European Space Agency and European Union. While China is showcasing its space-military capabilities, like ASAT, through its zero-sum games on space, then advocating “peaceful use of outer space” globally, India, on the other hand, should opt a reverse approach in a subtle manner and expose China to the international platform.
The development in India’s space sector is not of offensive nature. The programs like NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) can be visualized as a positive engagement between two space agencies. Moreover, India is inclined toward space debris diminution and effective management of space. In UNGA resolution 75/36, India is determined to use space for welfare and opposes space militarization. The basic governing principles of India’s foreign policy advocates peace, mutual respect and sustainability. In space cooperation, India should continue to engage meaningfully within the bare bones of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or the QUAD. The member countries of QUAD have already shown a lot of “restraint” and “responsible behavior” on the nuclear and space issues in the past, therefore, the QUAD has to stay relevant and effective in the future. When and how the private players will be included in the space-related technological developments while adopting the Space 2.0 approach would be an imperative within the QUAD setup. With increased cooperation on various domains with QUAD, it would be possible to reach a level of cooperation, where it would be easy for the emerging, spacefaring nations like India to persuade the world for a long-time on peaceful usage of outer space, space security & safety and increased sustainability for the coming 21st century.
* The authors belong to Plasma Astrophysics Research Laboratory of Dr. K.A.P. Singh, Department of Physics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, UP, India, email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Korea fired three ballistic missiles toward the East Sea on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, just a day after US President Joe Biden wrapped up his Asia trip highlighting America's security commitment to Seoul and Tokyo.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launches from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at around 6 a.m., 6:37 a.m. and 6:42 a.m., respectively, which marked the North's 17th show of force this year, Yonhap news agency reported.
"While reinforcing monitoring and vigilance activities, our military, in close cooperation with the United States, is maintaining a full readiness posture," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.
The launches followed speculation that the North could conduct an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or nuclear test to bolster its military presence and tighten national unity amid Covid-19 outbreaks and economic woes.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said Wednesday's missile launches highlight the "destabilising impact of the DPRK's illicit weapons programme." DPRK stands for the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"We are aware of the multiple DPRK ballistic missile launches today and are assessing and consulting closely with our allies and partners," it said in a press release. "The US commitment to the defence of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad."
On Tuesday, Biden concluded his first Asia trip since his inauguration early last year.
During a summit with President Yoon Suk-yeol on Saturday, Biden reaffirmed the US "extended deterrence" commitment to South Korea using the "full range of US defence capabilities, including nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities."
To deal with rising North Korean threats, the two leaders agreed to expand the allies' combined exercises and reactivate a key deterrence dialogue. Biden also reaffirmed the US' commitment to deploying its strategic military assets "in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary."
Earlier this month, the North launched what was thought to be an ICBM and then an apparent submarine-launched ballistic missile -- in a move seen as an effort to diversify its nuclear delivery vehicles.
The US provided intelligence that helped Ukraine sink the Moskva, Russia's flagship Black Sea missile cruiser, the media report.
Unnamed officials said Ukraine had asked the US about a ship sailing to the south of Odessa, to which Washington said it was the Moskva and helped confirm its location, the BBC reported.
Ukraine then struck it with two missiles, the officials were quoted as saying.
The officials said they did not know that Ukraine would target the Moskva after helping determine its location.
The 510-crew missile cruiser had led Russia's naval assault on Ukraine, and its sinking in April was a major symbolic and military blow, BBC reported.
At the time, the Russian Defence Ministry said ammunition on board the Moskva exploded in an unexplained fire and the ship tipped over while being towed back to port.
The US is yet to directly address the reports about the Moskva.
However Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied earlier media reports that the US was providing information about the locations of senior Russian generals on the battlefield, so that Ukrainian forces could kill them.
"We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military," he said.
Kirby said Ukraine combined information that the US and others provided with their own battlefield intelligence.
"Then they make their own decisions, and they take their own actions," he said.
The White House National Security Council (NSC) also denied the US was helping Ukraine target senior Russian officers.
"We do not provide intelligence with the intent to kill Russian generals," NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.
A Self-reliance in defence sector will have middle and long-term benefits, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pointing out that it will help in building the foundation of a robust industrial base in India.
Singh, while addressing the 37th Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Thursday, described self-reliance as essential for not only building the domestic capacity, but also for safeguarding the sovereignty of the country.
"Our past experiences have taught us that India cannot depend on imports for its security and security. Recent conflicts, especially the situation in Ukraine, have told us that not just defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected when it comes to national interests," he added.
He listed out some of the recent initiatives taken by the government, terming them as building blocks of a self-reliant structure which will empower the domestic manufacturers and help India emerge as a net exporter of defence equipment.
The Defence Minister reiterated that the government is "leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety and security of the people of the country".
He added that India has emerged as the foremost responder for out of area contingencies across the region. Singh also lauded the Armed Forces and other organs of the state for their combined contribution in achieving the objective.
He called for technology evolution, gaining expertise and human resource management to defend the country against space-guided attacks and protect the space assets.
"Change is the law of nature. It is eternal. This law is applicable to war as well. As students of military affairs and geopolitics, it is our duty to keep anticipating the nature of future wars. Steps are being taken by our adversaries towards military use of space. This is likely to have an adverse effect on our interests. We, therefore, need to identify and be fully prepared for the evolving security challenges," he said.
Singh added that the nature of future wars can be assessed through a closer look at the situation in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent Ukrainian conflict. "Although these trends are suggestive, but we can gain a deeper understanding by correlating them with our local threats."
The Defence Minister voiced the government's resolve to provide specialised skills training to the armed forces personnel, especially IAF, in latest technology to make them future ready.
Further, highlighting the importance of technology in wars, Singh said that the use of technology has seen an unprecedented increase in recent times. He, however, stated that expensive platforms/weapon systems do not alone ensure victory; it is their employment which gives an edge in wars.
"Be it precision guided munition, unmanned aerial vehicles or manpack anti-tank weapons, their deployment in any future war will be as critical as it had been in the past. Technology is a force multiplier, but without innovative deployment, state-of-the-art equipment will be a mere display," he added.
Singh asserted that through the process of integration structures can be built for bringing together the forces and greater synergy can be established between them through joint vision, training, planning and execution of operations.
"The ongoing process of integration of the armed forces is aimed at not only increasing the combined capability, but also efficiency. There have been deliberations in the armed forces regarding the envisaged changes. This consultative process will continue till the implementation of the reforms. We have to keep in mind that its long term success will depend on the vision of the planners just as much it depends on those who implement it. I have full faith that in future more unity will be established not just ideologically, but also in action," he said.