Aerospace power vital for security: IAF vice-chief

Written by Political Bureau | Updated: Nov 9 2008, 05:27am hrs
Stressing upon the importance of aerospace power, vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal P V Naik said on Friday that it has strategic capabilities to handle internal security.

The relevance of aerospace power has increased tremendously and it is fundamental to national security, the vice -chief of Air Staff said speaking at the 3rd International Conference on Energising Indian Aerospace Industry, organised jointly by the IAF, CII and Centre for Air Power Studies.

Naik said that the IAF has mooted a proposal to set up a National Aeronautical Commission (NAC) for developing indigenous capabilities in the field of aviation.

He said the commission will be headed by National Security Advisor (NSA) and will include members from all the government departments concerned and public and private sector companies.

The Commission is proposed to be headed by NSA and it will include all the members concerned from the three defence services, civil aviation, leading public sector undertakings and private entrepreneurs in defence field, Naik told mediapersons on the sidelines of the conference.

He stated that to develop India as an aerospace power, indigenous technology development programmes should avoid time and cost overrun.

According to him, one area that we need to be careful about is of time and cost overrun. We also have to be competitive in terms of prices, besides being far more efficient.

Commenting on future foreign tie-ups between public and private sector companies, he said, Joint venture should be such that both the partners should be interdependent rather than we being dependent on them.

Naik said, There are many core areas where the cutting edge technology is not available. In this scenario, public-private partnership (PPP) is desirable to develop the required advanced technology.

The New DPP-2008 has taken a number of steps to facilitate indigenization and has provided greater freedom to DPSUs to form joint ventures with private and multinational consortiums. MoD (Ministry of Defence) procurement in the current Five-Year Plan is likely to be around 100 billion dollar, he said.

In his Presidential address, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC said, The Indian defence industry needs to improve in many ways. Its real test would lie in producing a successful LCA (Light Combat Aircraft).

We should not be too dependent on foreign countries to fulfill our requirements of weapons, defence equipment and spare parts. We need to be independent because in the time of war or any severe crisis, it may lead to serious problems of unavailability of critical parts, he said.

We have been reluctant to share defence tasks with civil bodies, thinking that some secrets may be out this way. But I feel that in many cases this is quite unnecessary and this mentality must change to ensure greater cooperation with other agencies, he added.

In his opening remarks, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, (retd), director, Centre for Air Power Studies, said, The private sector in India has come of age. It has a new role to play, especially in the defence sector, under the changed world realities.

Chris Chadwick, president, Boeing Military Aircraft Boeing Company said ,Our company has worked hard over the past year on developing industry CMCGlobal Aerospace Industry Trends partnerships here in India that are not only crucial for executing a program like MMRCA, but also for developing our long-term strategy.