To keep the Indian Armed Forces prepared to deal with future challenges, the government has called for innovations in the field of ammunition. Given India’s regional and global challenges, defence Minister Rajnath Singh in his address at the inaugural session of the second conference on Military Ammunition (Ammo India), described advanced ammunition as the reality of the new age warfare. The theme of the conference taking place in New Delhi is ‘Make in India Opportunities and Challenges’.
Highlighting the importance of the development of ammunition which is crucial not only for security, but also for socio-economic progress of the country, the minister in his address urged the private sector and private sector, academia, start-ups, academia, to work with the Government in catering to the ammunition needs of the Armed Forces.
Indigenous design, development & production of ammunition is very important for India to be a world power and one of the preferred countries for defence production, he stated in his address.
“Scientific & technological as well as the economic development of a nation is reflected in the capacity of its weapons and ammunition,” he said. And asserted that the government understood the important role the private sector plays in strengthening the defence sector and for further enhancing their participation in the field of ammunition, several barriers have been removed.
Considerable relaxation has been given by removing criteria of financial eligibility or the issue of credit ratings and capping the participation of bidders.
He emphasised the importance of precision guided ammunition, which are important for future warfare. And talked about the employment of precision guided ammunition at ‘Muntho Dhalo’ base which had played an important role in India’s victory in 1999 Kargil war.
Modern day ammunition
Their smartness is important. They can be programmed and make course corrections and also target the right location at the right time.
‘Aatmanirbharta in Defence’
He also highlighted the efforts made by the government to empower the domestic industry which is critical for bolstering national security by equipping the Armed Forces with home-grown world-class weapons/systems.
This also includes the three positive indigenisation lists which have been notified by the Ministry of Defence, which is in line with the government’s emphasis towards indigenous manufacturing of ammunition.
There are 43 items including Guided Extended Range rockets for Pinaka, Advanced LightWeight Torpedo, Anti-Radiation Missiles or Loitering Munition, and weapons systems which are important for the ammunition industry.
7 New Defence Companies
He expressed appreciation about the fact that six of the seven new defence companies, which have been carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board, have reported profit within six months of their inception.
According to the minister, one of the seven new companies — Munitions India Limited has received export orders worth Rs 500 crore.
Besides releasing a `Knowledge Paper’, the minister also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing products developed by the Indian Navy, DPSUs and the private sector.
More about the conference
It was jointly organized by industry body FICCI and Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS). A wide range of ammunition requirements of the Armed Forces will be covered during different sessions.
There will be sessions related to naval munitions and ammunition for small arms; explosives and mines; munitions for precision attacks by drones & counter drone systems; ammunition for tanks and armoured fighting vehicles; artillery including fuses; air defence, and aerial munitions.