Defence technologies transferred to India not the best: Antony

SOURCE : IANS

India Monday said it had not benefited much from international cooperation in critical defence technologies in the field of aerospace and armaments, as the technology transferred to it was not the best.Inaugurating a three-day international seminar on aerospace technologies here ahead of the five-day AeroIndia show beginning Wednesday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said it was important for India to have cooperation with military powers in the field of defence, but the transfer of technology offered by countries were not the latest.

‘Don’t expect any country in the world, however friendly it is, to part with most modern technology. That’s the reality of the world,’ Antony said, terming the technology transfers it had obtained from other nations as ‘not being A-grade’.

India has been collaborating with countries like Russia, France, Israel and the US in obtaining weapons systems for its armed forces, including front-line Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets, Scorpene submarines and the BrahMos cruise missile.

Antony cautioned India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India Inc, universities and other scientific institutions to jointly work towards maximising efforts in the field of defence technology and assured them of government’s unstinted support so that the country need not depend on imports and borrowed technologies for its armed forces.

Though India produces its own equipment such as small arms, tanks and fighter jets, most of them are borrowed technologies, resulting in its defence imports touching about 70 percent of its needs.

However, the minister stressed that cooperation was absolutely necessary at all levels, be it local, national or global, for the nation’s progress in defence technology.

Antony said India’s indigenous fighter jet Tejas has to combine both technology and product development all at one go in view of technology denials at some stage or the other.

This was unlike in other parts of the world where technology development precedes product development, he noted

Despite odds, the DRDO and the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) handed over the aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a reasonable time-frame, in comparison to other similar class of combat aircraft in the developed world, he added.

After incorporating all improvements that IAF wants, Tejas was expected to be made ready by HAL in all aspects including armament by the next edition of AeroIndia in 2013.

‘Though Tejas has often been criticised for long delays, we have tried to make a world class aircraft. The world over, while technology development precedes product development, we attempted both at the same time in the case of LCA as we were denied technologies and had to find solutions the hard way,’ Antony said.

Expressing satisfaction on the success of other products, namely the Akash missile system and unmanned aircraft Nishant, pilotless target aircraft Lakshya and varieties of airborne early warning systems, the defence minister said there was a lot more to be done to meet the needs of the armed forces.

Listing out the challenging roadmap of various aerospace programmes like the advanced medium combat aircraft, aerostats, unmanned combat aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems, medium altitude long range unmanned aircraft Rustom and the indigenous gas turbine engine Kaveri, Antony said it offered opportunities not only for all indigenous institutions and industries, but also for partners around the globe.

‘We have chalked out an ambitious roadmap to develop many challenging aerospace programmes to meet the needs of our armed forces,’ he added.

Exhorting the state-run defence units to improve quality and pace of interactions with the armed forces, Antony said the need of the hour was to enhance the percentage of indigenous systems for meeting their requirements and security concerns.

‘Though the roadmap provides immense opportunities for the defence research and development establishments and the private industry, greater indigenisation and self-reliance are essential as no country, however friendly, will part with its critical technologies for strategic reasons,’ he told about 800 delegates.

Minister of State for Defence Production M.M. Pallam Raju, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat and DRDO Chief Controller for R&D Projects Prahlada also spoke on the occasion.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Feb 8 2011. Filed under India. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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