New Delhi. 16 October 2019. 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference took off setting the pace for brainstorming sessions planned over two days. Defence Minister for India Rajnath Singh said DRDO has made Defence forces of the country strong and congratulated Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy and all DRDO Scientists and personnel. He appreciated the DRDO for achieving the 100 days’ target and identifying milestones to commemorate 75 years of Independence and the road map for 5 years. He asked DRDO fraternity to imbibe the working ethos of former President Bharat Ratna Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. He stated that defence R&D and manufacturing has the potential to provide highest employment, direct or indirect. He asked DRDO to aim for the systems with technologies that should remain contemporary for next 10-15 years so that the Armed Forces maintain technological superiority.
Rajnath Singh further stated that technology also has its limitations and development of products have a gestation period. For such complex systems, the technical requirements keep evolving during the development cycle. Spiral development of these systems should be preferred option.
The inaugural function of the conference was also attended among others by National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.
Ajit Doval appreciated DRDO for doing commendable work despite all challenges. He stated that DRDO has a seminal role in making India technologically strong. He mentioned that in modern war, technology and finance are going to decide the outcome of the war in which technology is more important. He further said that need based technology will enable us to have an edge over our adversaries. Critical technologies should be developed indigenously. The DRDO is the only organisation which can take up system integration and should further strengthen it.
General Bipin Rawat in his address stated that DRDO has made major strides to ensure that needs of the services are met by providing various systems like Artillery Gun System, Mines, Anti-tank missile systems, etc. He was confident that future wars will be won with indigenous systems.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh in his address stated that Indian Navy is efficiently using Varunastra, Maareech, Ushus, TAL and various other DRDO developed systems. Shri Rajnath Singh added that warfare and technologies are synonymous and go rapid changes. These must be factored during design stage.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said that technology leadership is what defines DRDO. He also mentioned that DRDO has been able to achieve the objectives of self-reliance to a great extent in the past seven decades. He appreciated DRDO’s role in Electronic Warfare Technologies, Radars, Composite materials for LCA, AEW&C, Astra and various other technologies.
He also appreciated the capabilities of LCA Tejas and asked DRDO to develop next generation aircraft AMCA, harnessing the technologies and experience of LCA.
Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO spoke about successful development of ASAT, BrahMos, ASTRA, Nag missile, SAAW, Arjun MBT Mk 1A, 46 metre Modular Bridge, MPR, LLTR Ashwini, etc. He added that the theme for 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference is Technology leadership for empowering India, in line with the requirement to develop indigenous systems with advanced technologies.They also released two compendia namely the DRDO-Industry Partnership: Synergy and Growth and DRDO Products with Potential for Export. DRDO Policy and Procedures for Transfer of Technology to support industry was also released by him. On this occasion, Raksha Mantri also launched the New Website of DRDO.Dr Chitra Rajagopal, DG (SAM) stated that modernisation of the Armed Forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and technological changes. DRDO is committed to equip our Armed Forces with Internationally competitive systems, giving then a decisive edge in the battlefield.
Emphasising that research and maintaining operational superiority is the need of the hour, Rajnath Singh said, the world is changing and advanced & disruptive technologies are emerging at a rapid pace. He called for developing ‘indigenous innovation ecosystem’ with less dependence on imported systems to achieve self-reliance in critical technologies. “Development of technology should be cost effective and time efficient,” he added.
Stressing the need to bridge the technology gap for India to become a global leader in research and development, urged the scientists to focus on technologies that provide cutting edge capability and remain relevant for the next 15-20 years. “There are certain limitations in technology and there is a gestation period for development of products. It is possible that during the gestation period of complex systems, new technical requirements emerge. Spiral development should be given priority for such systems,” he further said.
Suggesting an intense interaction between DRDO and all stakeholders, Rajnath Singh urged scientists to devise an action plan for excellence in Defence R&D that can take India to renewed heights in defence capability. He said, with concerted efforts, India can become a ‘technology exporter’, which will have multi-dimensional benefits.The minister termed scientific knowledge, innovation, advanced technology, industrial infrastructure and workforce as ‘currency’ of modern times, adding that basic R&D in science and technology identifies new knowledge that can prove to be useful in both civil and military sectors. “Innovation brings investment and at the same time provides better value to investors. It contributes in establishing a win-win situation,” he said.
Rajnath Singh added that through initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, investment facilitation, skills enhancement, intellectual property protection and manufacturing infrastructure, the Government is leaving no stone unturned to make India a global manufacturing hub in near future.Describing DRDO as the main centre for indigenous R&D, he said, DRDO is committed to progressive enhancement of self sufficiency in strategic defence systems & infrastructure. He expressed confidence that the world-class weapon platforms and systems like combat vehicles, missiles, multi-barrel rocket launcher, unmanned aerial vehicle, radar, electronic warfare systems, combat aircraft, propellants & explosives, will help in making India self-reliant in defence sector.