“Future war will not be a war of aggression” - Bipin Rawat on what India needs to do to be prepared for future wars. And his view on the role of the CDS. Army Chief Bipin Rawat felt indigenisation is the need of the hour. He highlighted the need to strengthen R&D. Bipin Rawat felt the decision to set up the post of CDS was a step in the right direction. The Army Chief felt that direct aggression as a method of war was now passé

Artificial Intelligence and Cyber War were becoming instrumental in deciding war strategy for the purpose of data

Lauding the Indian government's recent efforts in forging alliances with various countries in the fields of diplomacy, strategy, economics, energy and security, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that emerging partnerships would play a crucial role in making the future world peaceful. He felt that security undercurrents are replete with strategic unpredictability and multi-spectrum warfare challenges. War, he admitted, is a very complex phenomenon with ever-evolving dynamics.The Indian Defence spectrum As part of the valedictory remarks of the 23rd Colonel Pyara Lal Memorial Lecture 2019 organised by the United Service Institution of India on the topic “Building Military Capability, Developing New Partnerships and Protecting National Interests in an Uncertain World Order", the Army Chief delineated the following points related with securing India militarily: Indigenisation: “Indian armed forces need to be prepared for a wide range of offences with a variant level of intensity. Therefore, building military capability is undeniably the sine qua non. Keeping the long term perspective in mind, developing indigenous military capability -- whether it is weapon systems, ammunition or equipment -- self-reliance, was, therefore, the answer and private industry would need to be involved.”


1. Research And Development

“The basic problem is of investment in research and development. Is the industry today capable or willing to invest in R&D without assured orders? How do we then give assured orders to the industry when you have to bank on a three-tier system of looking at who is the lowest bidder as well as seeing who has better technology. Do we give preference to technology or to cost?”weapons research and development

2. Capacity To Absorb Technologies

“The issue is, do we have the capacity to absorb technologies. There are countries around the world which are willing to transfer their technology to us. But where is the base to imbibe this technology? Therefore, the industry has to focus to a greater extent on research and development. Can they do it? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Not every industry has the capacity to develop the kind of resources that are required in developing technologies.”

3. Extent of Government Intervention

“Is there a need for the government to step in? Yes, partially. Some kind of infusion of funds in the industry for research and development other than the DRDO alone is the need of the hour. A lot of effort is being put towards this through the Make 1 and Make 2 procedures. Make 1 procedure that the government has now adopted is some kind of sharing of cost in the industry. Make 2 procedures are those where the industry is willing to go on its own to develop technology and give us the equipment. I just wish to highlight that you know the weapon systems have been developed. It is not that the private industry doesn’t have the capacity to develop small arms in our country, but the issue is again of technology. Why do we have AK 203 (rifles) coming from Russia? Because they have superior metrology, and through metrology comes accuracy.”Rifles

“The same thing is applicable to tanks. We are trying to develop armoured fighting vehicles when we are yet to develop an engine. Can the industry go ahead and develop a 1,500 horsepower engine which can propel this 50-ton monster in the kind of the terrain we are expected to operate…Today we are importing all these engines from abroad. Along with these come the other structures. Everything that is being done in the country, it is being done either by DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertakings) or ordnance factories. Around DPSUs there can be a lot of small and medium enterprises who can associate. Even ISRO, which sent Chandrayaan 2 into space, has about 2000 small and medium enterprises which helped them develop the Chandrayaan.”

4. Green Shoots of Progress - The Current Scenario

“We have recently floated a requirement of developing our own ammunition for our tanks with the private industry. The APFS (armour-piercing fin-stabilised) ammunition which we are importing from Russia will now be manufactured by the private industry. A contract of 85,000 rounds of this ammunition has already been given to the industry, out of which an additional 10,000 rounds will also be developed by the DRDO. To make things concurrently, it is actually challenging the DRDO to come out with good product because they know the industry is also going to give them the challenge to produce better stuff.”

5. Military Structures And CDS

“I think to develop military capability two issues need to be looked at. One is developing structures, which I think is already happening by the way of CDS (Chief of Defence Staff). What will be role and charter for the CDS? I think there is a body which is now looking at it and working out the overall responsibility of the CDS. Let them do their work and see what comes out. The ultimate decision will be taken by the government. I don’t think we should rely on social media on what is coming out. It is not (the true picture).”

6. Capacities And Capabilities

“I think the future war will not be a war of aggression. We have to be prepared to fight the war in the cyber domain. There will be cartographic equations, there will be legal warfare. We have to be concerned about the information war web and artificial intelligence. And to top it all, we will need capabilities from space for providing us with much-needed intelligence surveillance and records and requirements. I think artificial intelligence will not only help us in winning wars, but it will also always remain a force multiplier.”Artificial Intelligence

In the case of the armed forces, operational logistics function will mainly be supported by artificial intelligence. It will not serve as a tool for war-fighting and giving you a plan on how to fight wars. For that, you still need military minds and you need leadership which is to be trained in making decisions. We need to understand that artificial intelligence, information warfare, cyber warfare, etc. can only be support systems for modern war-fighting. War will still need to be fought by the men on the ground, soldiers, airmen, sailors and the machines that are made available to them.”