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Arrest arms import trends, favour self-reliance: Navy Chief

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 19:39

New Delhi: Favouring self-reliance in
military technologies and weapons production, Navy Chief
Admiral Nirmal Verma on Wednesday said India should arrest the trend
of importing arms.

"If we aspire to become a strong nation and have the
flexibility to choose our own courses of action to deal with
internal and external challenges, we need to become
self-reliant in critical national security requirements and
technologies," Verma said.
He was inaugurating the CII-sponsored NAVARMS two-day
seminar on naval armament technologies here.

Verma said India had met most of its security
requirements over the last six decades as a "net importer" of
military hardware.

"Considering existing and anticipated orders for
aircraft, ships and submarines, our imports may continue well
into the foreseeable future, unless concrete steps are taken
to arrest this trend. A significant component of the
requirement is for upgradation of our existing fleet and
inventory of armament and armament stores," he said.

Though growing economy was "a great national asset"
that made the world take notice of India`s potential to
contribute at the global level, he said the difference between
economic progress and strategic self-sufficiency has to be
recognised.

He said India, having come this impressive distance
over the last two decades in developing engineering,
technological and industrial strengths, was ready to embark on
more ambitious ventures in pursuit of self-reliance and
indigenisation.
"The field of developing armament and armament systems
lends itself to this effort....developing critical
technologies and capabilities is vital to enhancing the
nation`s strategic flexibility, and developing indigenous
armament systems will not only give our armed forces a
competitive edge, but also strengthen the nation economically
and industrially," he added.

Noting that India was gradually opening the defence
industry to the private players, Verma said the country should
endeavour to make armament production vastly more indigenous
and called for increasing Ordnance Factories` and Defence
PSUs` procurement of assemblies and sub-assemblies from
private sector from the current Rs 3,100 crore.

He said the Navy followed a three-pronged action plan
in enhancing self-reliance in naval armament: by joint design
and development with DRDO, by transfer of technology to
Ordnance Factories and DPSUs from foreign manufacturers, and
by supporting the private industry in their R&D efforts and
from purchases.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 19:39

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