The Indian Navy has underlined four primary expectations to build a force of tomorrow which is armed with cutting edge technologies with a distinct ‘Make in India’ stamp. Talking to media persons on the sidelines of a two-day international seminar with the theme ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’, organised by FICCI, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba voiced optimism that the Strategic Partnership model process to involve the Indian private sector in defence manufacturing would start in six months.
Responding to a question about the SP Model which recently got approved, the Naval chief said: “All the three services will have to go and get the AoNs (Acceptance of Necessity) on what we want to be built through the strategic partners, so that the strategic partner in any segment can be identified. We hope that we should be able to move this process within six months.” Issuing an AoN is usually the first step in defence procurements.
Earlier, Admiral Lanba said the policy would take India a long way in defence manufacturing. “International partnership is set to undergo a paradigm shift with the Strategic Partnership model. This policy along with initiatives like Make in India will go a long way in building sustainable model for development of a platform and equipment requiring niche technologies.”
The SP Model envisages the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with qualified Indian industry majors, in which the Indian industry partners would tie up with global original equipment manufacturers. Four sectors have been finalised for the model at present – fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured fighting vehicles and main battle tanks.
According to Lanba, Indian Navy has taken giant strides in the field of indigenous ship design and construction to transition from a ‘Buyer’s’ Navy to a ‘Builder’s’ Navy. Despite the achievements in indigenous shipbuilding, the Navy continues to be dependent on external assistance for niche technologies. An important aspect in attaining 100% self-reliance in ship design and construction, therefore, is the indigenous development of high end technologies, their transition into ship borne equipment and systems, induction into Service and standardisation. Self-reliance in defence production would require dedicated efforts by researchers, designers and manufacturers.
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The naval chief brought out that the Indian Navy has taken the first step in this direction by formally articulating its indigenisation plans and need for the development of state-of-the-art systems and equipment through various policy and vision documents. This, along with initiatives like ‘Make in India’, would go a long way in building sustainable models for development of platforms and equipment requiring niche technologies.
Admiral Lanba highlighted the three primary requirements that need to be met while inducting a technology or a product – affordability, timely delivery and performance. To these primary imperatives, the Navy Chief went on to add a fourth dimension – that of life cycle sustenance by providing seamless technical support and making the technology future proof. He stated that this aspect is most vital for building a navy of the future and the support of the industry therefore extends well beyond just supply to lifecycle product support.