Reduce dependence on imports for arms: Antony to IAF
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of efforts to increase indigenisation to avoid defence scams, Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday asked the IAF to reduce its dependence on imports and work towards achieving self reliance in military weapon systems.
"We must minimise the over-reliance of our armed forces in general and IAF, in particular, on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for procurement of major aircraft and equipment," he said at the bi-annual IAF Commanders` conference.
The Minister`s statement comes at a time when a former IAF chief is facing inquiry by the CBI in connection with the alleged AgustaWestland kickbacks scam in procurement of VVIP choppers.
Antony also asked the force to observe austerity measures as directed by the Finance Ministry and avoid ceremonial formalities.
"Though availability of funds shall never be an issue, we need to strictly observe austerity measures circulated by the Ministry of Finance. "Efforts must be made to cut down expenditure on non-core activities and avoidable ceremonial formalities," he said.
The Minister said the Government remains committed to the modernisation of force, which is planning to induct a number of systems at a cost of over Rs 2 lakh crore in next five years.
"The procurement and acquisitions span the entire spectrum of the capabilities of IAF including fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters and modernisation of air defence network," he said at the conference with the theme `Enhancement of Op Infrastructure and Security`.
The Minister asked the IAF to upgrade its legacy systems and modern systems to retain and further strengthen its capabilities.
The Minister commended the force on the successful conduct of the lAF`s largest exercise `Exercise - Live Wire`.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Revealed - How Indian Army hit terror camps across LoC!
- Pak forces will teach Zee News what real surgical strike is: Hafiz Saeed
- DNA: Indian Army carries out surgical strikes across LoC
- Is it time for India to respond militarily to Pak terror instead of peace talks?
- Panel discussion on Hafiz Saeed's reaction after Indian Army surgical strikes
- Hafiz Saeed threatens Zee News, says Pak forces will teach what real surgical strikes are
- Pak postpones SAARC Summit after five member states pull out of conference: As it happened
- After threatening Zee News, Hafiz Saeed says PM Modi, Ajit Doval staged `surgical strike drama'
- India's surgical strikes: Pakistan buries slain terrorists to hide evidence, asks Masood Azhar to go mum
- Who is Chandu Babulal Chauhan and why India wants to bring him back from Pakistan - Read