Ahmedabad, Feb 26: Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane on Saturday said the Indian Army is open to ideas for building ready and future combat vehicles that are at conceptualization stage.

“The Indian Army has recently embarked on a programme for future and ready combat vehicles. Both these are at conceptualization stage and we are open to ideas,” he said in his inaugural address at the third edition of Ahmedabad Design Week at Karnavati University.

The future in aerospace and defence, he said, is electric in the way things are going to change.

“As we go ahead more and more electricity-based equipment will come up that are not dependent on fossil fuel. There’s a lot of work that can be done in the field of miniaturisation. We cannot afford to have large platforms. The size of our ship and aircrafts have to be small,” General Naravane said.

As the requirements of the modern day battlefield are daunting and diverse, designing should be of that stature that will be relevant for the next 50 years, he said. Designing a system that fits all in one is daunting and one must keep these vital, essential and desirable aspects in mind, General Naravane said.

“If this aspect is kept in mind we would be able to do much better. For instance, a vehicle that can efficiently operate across all terrains or say develop a technology that makes potable water available easily in inaccessible areas. We are looking for technology solutions,” he added.

Earlier he inaugurated the third edition of Ahmedabad Design Week (ADW), a melting pot of ideas and insights, organised by Karnavati University.

The university is a state private university dedicated to excellence in teaching and is focused on interdisciplinary learning. This year’s theme for ADW 3.0 is Design and Innovation in Defence and Aerospace which is a topic of strategic importance.

Air Marshal RK Dhir (Retd) said entrepreneurs and industry must take the lead immediately to achieve self-reliance.

“A nation becomes strong through pillars of military power, diplomacy and even economic might. Self-reliance that breeds from the need to exist and survive is crucial and today, the industry is looking inwards for dependence. To achieve this, entrepreneurs and industry must take the lead now,” he said.

Dhir said that a leading manufacturing company may soon come into Gujarat for defence manufacturing which is a part of national leadership’s plans to create an ecosystem of making India strong. “This is where the scientists, DRDO and others have to work together,” he added.

Genesis Film Production Founder Prahalad Kakkar spoke about the criticality of defence manufacturing in India.

He said, “Anything will function better when better designed. Today we sit in a world which is dangerous. India lags in its defence abilities not just for defence but even technology. Today, even though we are late, it is important to look at defence production. The business of war today is not about protected world wars but about economics. It is a country’s abilities to sustain a war is what decides it’s might, where our focus must be stationed,”