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Manoj Pande: Can’t remain dependent for national security needs; Atmanirbharta is a must, says Army Chief Manoj Pande

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Army Chief General Manoj Pande has highlighted the importance of self-reliance in defence production, emphasizing that the security of the nation cannot be outsourced or dependent on others. He reiterated this stance at a conclave, outlining the Army’s efforts towards self-reliance and transformation to meet operational and functional requirements.

Self-Reliance in Defence Production

Gen Pande mentioned that the Army is collaborating with 340 indigenous defence industries to fulfill 230 contracts by 2025, involving an outlay of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. This push for self-reliance is crucial, especially considering external dependencies for critical components and supply chain disruptions highlighted during the pandemic and lessons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

READ MORE: Indian armed forces to get nearly 1 lakh crore infusion for game-changer tech

Need for Atmanirbharta

The Army chief stressed the need for self-reliance in acquiring new weapon platforms, sustaining existing ones, meeting ammunition and maintenance demands, and achieving self-sufficiency in critical technologies. He described Atmanirbharta as an inescapable requirement for India’s defence needs.Building a Robust Defence-Industry EcosystemGen Pande emphasized the importance of a robust defence-industry ecosystem, which includes indigenous research, design, development, and production capacities. He highlighted the significance of strong linkages among academia, R&D establishments, industry, and the armed forces for this ecosystem.

READ MORE: India sets annual defence production target of Rs 3 lakh cr and defence exports worth Rs 50,000 cr by 2028-29

Government’s Enabling Actions

The government has taken several actions to support self-reliance in defence, including simplification of industrial licensing, deregulation, and incentivization for transfer of technology. Other measures include promulgation of “positive indigenization” lists, corporatization of ordnance factories, and the establishment of two defence corridors.

Vision for the Future

Gen Pande outlined the Army’s vision to transform into a modern, technology-enabled, and self-reliant force capable of deterring and winning wars in a multidomain operational environment. He highlighted the need to align with changes in the geopolitical landscape and the impact of disruptive technologies on conventional combat force ratios.

READ MORE: Govt clears Rs 31,000 cr defence orders

The Army chief’s remarks underscore the strategic imperative of self-reliance in defence production and the importance of preparing for future challenges. By emphasizing Atmanirbharta and outlining a vision for a modern, technology-enabled force, the Army aims to ensure India’s security in a complex and evolving global scenario.

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