New Delhi. 16 March 2023. In keeping with the requirement of staying ahead of the curve in the field of military technology, Base Repair Depot (BRD), Palam organized a seminar on ‘Emerging Disruptive and futuristic Technology and their Application in Military Domains’ on 16 Mar 23 at New Delhi. Held under the aegis of Maintenance Command of the Indian Air Force, the chief Guest of the event was Air Marshal Vibhas Pande AVSM VSM, AOC-in-C, Maintenance Command. The event was also graced by Director Gen (Aircraft), Assistant Chief of Air Staff Engineering (A), Assistant Chief of Air staff (MP) from Air Headquarters and many other eminent and distinguished guests from not only the IAF but also from sister services, academia/DPSUs and civil agencies. After the Welcome address Air Cmde SS Rehal, AOC BRD, Palam, Air Marshal Vibhas Pande AVSM VSM inaugurated the seminar and delivered the key note address. He said “Digitization is the most disruptive technology that has happened to this world”, and, “For all the disruptive and futuristic technologies, interconnection is of utmost importance to use them effectively for our military applications”.

The first session of the seminar, with the theme “Interconnection and Decentralized Decisions” was chaired by AVM PS Sarin, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Engineering (A). This session was aimed at understanding the nature of emerging, disruptive and future technologies and their application in the Armed Forces. Gp Capt Vikas Dhankar was the first speaker who spoke on “Understanding Emerging Disruptive Technologies for Utilization in Future Warfare”. Prof Jaijit Bhattacharya, President of Center for Digital Economy Policy Research thereafter spelt out the “Strategic Options for Indian Defence Forces in the Emerging Futuristic Technologies and Autonomous Systems”. The topic of “Leveraging IoT/IoP within the Constraints of IW/Cyber Requirements in the IAF” was covered by AVM (Dr) D Vatsa (Retd) who is the Advisor of Cyber Security and Critical Technologies, Data Security Council of India, NASSCOM. Ms Shimona Mohan, Research Assistant in the Center for Security, Strategy and Technology at the Observer research Foundation thereafter dwelled on “Effective and Ethical Military AI and Challenges in Maintenance of AI Weapon Systems”.

The second session of the seminar themed “Technology Assistance and Common Consciousness” chaired by AVM SK Jain, Assistant Chief of Air staff (MP) sought to bring the requirements of the Armed Forces and the capabilities of the defense manufacturing ecosystem into unison. Mr Yogesh J Inamdar, Associate Vice President and Head of IoT and Automation, Digital Manufacturing, Bharat Forge Ltd set the ball rolling by elucidating on “Industry 4.0 – How it can Revolutionize Manufacturing and Product Distribution in the Defense Sector”. Thereafter, Smt Hemavathy M, Principal Scientist, Central Research Laboratory, BEL spelt out “BEL’s Vision for Indian Defence Forces in general and IAF in Particular with Focus on Block Chain Technology”. Gp Capt Manish Chand from the IAF’s Unit for Digitisation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Application Networking thereafter spoke on the IAF’s experiences with “Operational Decision Support System using Intelligent Automation”.

The seminar thus focused on bringing experts of various varied technological fields under one platform with the aim of looking at ways on usage of technology as a force multiplier for the Indian Armed Forces. The colloquium holds significance since it was a unique effort on looking at the ways to revolutionize the Indian Armed Forces war waging capabilities and operational readiness with the support and involvement of our indigenous Defence Manufacturing ecosystem in keeping with the clarion call of “Atma Nirbar Bharat”.