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Self-reliance, indigenisation and collaborative approach are Navy's mantra towards building a force of the future: Vice Admiral Deshpande

Issue No. 7-8 | April 1-30, 2017By Our Special CorrespondentPhoto(s): By FICCI

The Indian Navy is working relentlessly towards transforming its shipbuilding, aviation and underwater capabilities by building new generation vessels by leveraging the technology and research as force multipliers. To this end, the Navy is emphasising on indigenisation and had identified areas for cooperation while actively seeking the involvement and participation of industry, academia and research laboratories.

This was stated by Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande, AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), Indian Navy, at a curtain-raiser on FICCI’s international seminar on ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’, to be held from May 31-June 1, 2017, in New Delhi. The seminar would provide a common platform to explore and debate on disruptive technologies and its doctrinal impact in shaping the future of the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral Deshpande said that the Indian Navy has been at the vanguard in promoting indigenous design and construction of warships and equipment for many years. The process of achieving self-reliance in the Navy is extremely complex and it requires active participation from many stakeholders across industries, both private and public, academia, R&D establishments, etc. He added that an increasingly complex and volatile maritime security landscape requires development of technologies that can fulfill the requirements of the nation indigenously. He mentioned that in this regard the Navy has taken a quantum jump with respect to the technologies and the platform being inducted in its fleet over the years.

He said that the Navy is open to experimentation and R&D before embracing the technology. The plans of the Navy align well with the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ programme, which is enabling it to take bold decisions and collaborative approaches.

Vice Admiral Deshpande said that India aims to emerge as a defence manufacturing hub in future; thus the Navy seeks the support of industry, researchers, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and government organisations. He added that proactive government policies aimed at easing business rules would help forge a collaborative environment.

Mentioning about the status of some of the large programmes in the pipeline, he shared that if all goes well, then the Navy is expected to close the landing platform docks (LPD) contract by end of this year.

On the occasion, Vice Admiral Deshpande released a brochure on the international seminar on ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’. In his presentation on the theme of the seminar, Cmde Sujeet Samaddar, NM (Retd), Honorary Advisor-Defence & Aerospace, FICCI, said that a disruptive technology changes the dynamics of competition in ways that are revolutionary, profound and unexpected. The seminar, he added, would focus on such technologies and would have dedicated sessions, which would deliberate on IDDM: Potential Projects for the Indian Industry, Modern Trends in Maritime Communications, Cyber Space Operations and Information Warfare, Shipborne Propulsion and Power Generation, Missiles, Underwater and Directed Energy Weapons, ‘Make in India’ Opportunities for Coastal States, Surveillance and Detection Systems, Transformation in Naval Aviation Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for the Aerospace Industry, Disruptive Technologies, Warship Building in India and Building India’s Future Navy: Realising the ‘Make in India’ Initiative.

Ambika Sharma, Director General of FICCI, said that the seminar would provide a platform to senior officers of the Indian Navy and industry captains to deliberate on the future preparedness and required dimensions of a Future Ready Indian Naval Force. FICCI invites officers of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, defence experts, innovators and industry to submit technical papers. All papers will be scrutinised by an expert panel. The last date for submission of the technical papers is April 30, 2017.