Lt General BS Raju was in Udhampur to inaugurate the North Tech Symposium organised by the Northern Command of the Indian Army which is led by Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi

UDHAMPUR: In a major indication of the Army's push towards indigenisation, Vice Chief Lieutenant General BS Raju said on Saturday that almost all approvals for defence procurements will go to domestic manufacturers.

Lt Gen Raju said, “Hereafter, the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) will only be given to indigenous defence manufacturers. We will come more than half a distance to meet your aspirations.” Most of the AoNs will go to Indian industry -- 90% and above -- Lt Gen Raju said.

To bring clarity and smoothen the process, Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQRs) are being framed meticulously to specify to the vendor what is being sought and the functional characteristics of the military equipment, costs and timeline for delivery.

Specifying that the message from the top is very clear -- to fight future wars with indigenous equipment -- the Vice Chief clarified, “We will not ask you for the moon. The PSQRs that we are going to give are going to be reasonable so that you are able to produce it.”

Lt General BS Raju was in Udhampur to inaugurate the North Tech Symposium organised by the Northern Command of the Indian Army which is led by Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi.

The symposium serves to showcase cutting edge technologies and innovative products providing solutions to some of the complex challenges faced by the security forces in the Northern Command and also acts as a platform for mutual exchange of ideas between the domestic defence industry and the Army.

The Army said 162 companies from the Indian defence industry including MSMEs, DRDO, DPSU, etc participated and exhibited their products. In addition, 42 innovative solutions by Army establishments towards enhancement of combat potential of the Army were also on display. The symposium saw active participation from IDS, Army HQ, ARTRAC, other Commands, Category ‘A’ establishments, officers from Northern Command, its subordinate formations and the media.

There was a focus on unmanned aerial vehicles, drone and counter drone technology in addition to other technologies.

“We need drones of all kinds which are able to do persistent surveillance, carry payload, carry ammunition to the place of choice, secure communication, carry medical equipment and so on,” said Lt Gen Raju.

Pointing to the procedural delays and the consequent complications, he acknowledged, “There is need to further simplify our procedures to make them more flexible and agile so that the aspirations of the troops and the industry can be met.”

The Vice Chief said, “The Indian Army in the last two years has entered into contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore with domestic industry,” adding that the Army was prepared to give the industry, “all the facilities that are required, whether it is equipment, testing facilities and most importantly our time.”

Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoCinC) of the Northern Command, commended the work being done by the industry and said that the immediate focus is on requirements which are being met from imports. “We need to first work to decrease our reliance on all that is being imported and also have technology which can counter what the adversary has.”

This could start with extreme cold climate clothing (ECC), Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment (SCME) for high altitudes like Siachen glaciers, said Dwivedi.

Next, he enumerated the surveillance and counter surveillance area which involves drones and counter drones. “Because this technology is evolving every day, the adversary is able to update itself. We will have to innovate in this so that we remain ahead.”

“It is imperative for us to develop these and other technologies in India, so that we are also able to evolve and graduate to a higher level,” Gen Dwivedi said.