Must build strong technological base and be alert 24x7: Antony

Until we develop our own strong technological base we can`t say India has come of age, Antony said.

Updated: Feb 07, 2011, 20:33 PM IST

Bangalore: It is imperative for India to
be self-reliant by developing a strong technological base in
critical technologies and alert 24x7 in the rapidly changing
scenario, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Monday.

"I do not think any country in the world, however
friendly they are, would like to part with their most modern
`A` grade technology with any other. That is the reality," he
said, inaugurating the eighth edition of Aero India 2011
International Seminar here.

"Until we gradually develop our own strong
technological base in critical technologies we cannot say
India has come of age," he said while reiterating thrust on
achieving self-reliance in critical defence technologies.

It was essential for all stakeholders, including DRDO,
industry, universities, research institutions and other arms to
come together. Such coordination, Antony said, would receive
government support.

He said while the success of Tejas, Akash missile
system and unmanned aircraft Nishant, pilotless target
aircraft Lakshya and airborne early warning systems were
satisfying, "a lot more needs to be done to meet the needs of
armed forces".

DRDO and the armed forces need to step up the quality
and pace of interactions to develop latest technologies and
the best products, he said.

"In the years to come DRDO must be in a position to
significantly enhance the percentage of indigenous systems for
use of our armed forces", he said adding that efforts to
realise successful aerospace products in shorter time-frames
through global cooperation must also be stepped up.

"Cooperation at every level-local, national or global
is an absolute necessity for progress in technology, specially
defence technology," Antony said.

He said opportunities are there for all to forge
closer links with national and international institutions.
Such linkages are a must for laying down foundation for
sustainable technological progress and growth, Antony said.

Antony said India has chalked out a roadmap to develop
many challenging aerospace programmes and expressed confidence
of great opportunities, not only for indigenous institutions
and industries, but also for all partners across the globe.

Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said
DRDO has close to 800 industry partners for development of
defence products and India partners institutions in 20