New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday handed over DRDO developed Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW), an air-launched, long-range, stand-off, air-to-surface Smart Bomb, to the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. He also handed over the variants of Advanced Chaff were handed over to the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, at an event held at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi, as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations and iconic week of the Ministry of Defence. Singh also handed over six Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements to seven public and private sector companies. Earlier DRDO organised a Seminar on “Preparing For The Future” where Vice Chiefs of the Armed Forces and DRDO Scientists shared their views.
Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said, such seminars help in the meeting of the minds and evolving a common strategy to face enemy threats. “When we talk about integration and jointness, it is not limited to initiatives taken by government alone. Its success has to be achieved by the meeting of minds of our defence forces. It is an effort to jointly enhance our capabilities to face the challenges posed by our adversaries,” Singh said.
“The integration we talk about, is not limited to our the forces but also it means synergy among every concerned organisation in the country,” he added. He also said that there has been a big change over the last few years in the approach of DRDO whereby it was not only working on technologies to mitigate current threats but also on first-of-its-kind technologies to face future challenges.
On the objective of making India a strong platform of a defence manufacturing base and net defence exporter, Rajnath Singh said DRDO has played a significant role in this endeavour. “Its path passes through collaboration among DRDO, the Armed Forces, Private industry, start-ups and academia. The ToT with private players which took place today indicates that we are ready to make a strong defence industrial base in the country that will cater not only the domestic defence requirements but also will fulfil needs of friendly countries by defence item exports.”
Paying tribute to late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat and others who lost their lives in an air crash recently, Singh said that the process of integration and modernisation of Tri-Services that was initiated with the creation of the post of CDS and Department of Military Affairs will move on seamlessly and will be a priority of the government to achieve the target as soon as possible.
Emphasizing the role of technology in warfare, Rajnath Singh said our aim should be to make India a leader in the defence technology and identified development of Hypersonic cruise missile as one such advanced technology for which all should work together.
Citing the scientific prowess of DRDO in developing Mission Shakthi, the minister said DRDO is working on smart materials, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning based systems, Swarm drones, Asymmetric warfare etc.
Rajnath Singh said the Government is working in a concerted manner to realize the objective of Make in India and Make for the World by bringing in several policy reforms such as increasing FDI in Defence sector through automatic route to 74%, Corporatisation of OFB, creation of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, formulation of Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020, bringing out positive lists of defence items for domestic manufacturing etc. He added that these policies aim to make our Armed Forces strong by strengthening domestic defence industry.