Jammu: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan today said the Army has ammunition which has the range of 100 kilometres and this hasn’t been procured for practice but for operational purposes.

He was responding to a question whether India can use drones, as the United States did, to target terror camps across the border.

“I wish you go around this particular exhibition more closely. You will find ammunition which has a range of 100 kilometres. This hasn’t been procured for only target practice. This has to be used operationally,” Gen Chauhan said in a media-interaction during three-day long North Tech Symposium at IIT-Jammu that began today.

“All that you see here, some of them you will find as part of our inventory at some particular point of time,” the CDS said at the Symposium which will be addressed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh tomorrow.

Asserting that G20 Summit has been successfully conducted, Gen Chauhan said: “At the Summit venue and airport large number of anti-drone systems were deployed by Army, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy. Those systems have actually been picked up from operational places – air bases and borders”.

He said the armed forces were cognizant of this problem and they have procured this equipment in sufficient quantity to meet the immediate requirements.

On indigenous weapons, Gen Chauhan said the Atmanirbharta business was started few years ago and the results are here for all of us to see.

“If we go along this particular path, the day is not far when we will be one of the major defence and equipment producers in the world. I think the perception that Indian-made weapons were not good is changing now,” he said.

He strongly felt that if the model of self-reliance (Atmanirbharta) has to be made successful then three Services have to whole-heartedly participate in it.

“Academia and defence industry have financial angle but Army has a war quotient to it. Unless we involve ourselves in it, things won’t change and won’t be successful in our pursuit,” the Chief of Defence Staff said.

The CDS expressed his happiness that the change has come among the Services and now armed forces are working in close coordination with the defence industry, academia and Start-ups.

He, however, evaded a reply on reports of massive deployment and infrastructure development by the Chinese army on Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.

Meanwhile, speaking to media persons, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said in the ensuing year so far, security forces have neutralised 46 terrorists of which 37 were foreigners and that it’s for the first time that elimination of foreigner terrorists is four times more than the locals.

He was speaking to the media at the North Tech Symposium.

“Moreover, 29 of these terrorists have been killed in the South of Pir Panchal,” he said.

Lt Gen Dwivedi said that that neighbouring country is frustrated with the restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir and attempts are being made from across the border to disrupt the peace. “But we will never allow this to happen,” he added.

He said that the Northern Command is not only guarding the Line of Control (LOC) but also the Line of Actual Control (LAC), adding, that the “induction of upgraded technology will benefit the Indian Army and further augment the Armed Forces.”

As far as the situation along the border is concerned, the Northern Command is always ready operationally, he said.

“India Army is maintaining vigil 24×7 along the LAC and the LoC as well and due to operations, peace is restoring in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Army officer said.

On increasing terrorist incidents in Rajouri and Poonch districts, he said, “wherever peace returns, Pakistan tries to disturb it.”

He said: “Despite Pakistan’s worsening situation internally, foreign terrorists are being pushed to the Indian territory because local terrorists and support to the neighbour is almost zero in Jammu and Kashmir and the citizens of this region are up against terrorism and instead standing by the security forces.”

The army commander said that as the deployment and technology has changed to a larger extent, terrorists trying to infiltrate are being neutralised on the border only and the attempts are being foiled successfully.

He said that all the top commanders of various terror outfits have been eliminated in Jammu and Kashmir, which has frustrated the Pakistan.

Meanwhile, addressing the Symposium, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said the technological demonstrations at this year’s North Tech Symposium, dedicated to addressing operational challenges and procuring state of the art equipment for the army, are “much better” than last year. Dwivedi said the Army procured 256 indigenous items for defence and security needs at the last North Tech Symposium held in May 2022 and expects to acquire more equipment this time.

“It is time for the industry and military to sit together to know about the requirements of each other. Last time when we carried out the North Tech Symposium, after that we procured 256 items,” he said.
“This time we are looking to acquire more equipment,” he said, adding “The best part is that this time, the technological demonstrations are much better than last time”.

Replying to a question about the Army allowing companies to carry out trials, Lt Gen Dwivedi said, “Earlier it was difficult to get permissions. Now the Army Headquarters has allowed the Command Headquarters to give permissions. Similarly, firing ranges have been allowed to carry out trials”.

He said when the companies will come for trials; the Army will suggest the changes and improvements needed.

“Once they go back and upgrade equipment, it will get inducted,” the Northern Command chief said.
Earlier, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M V Suchindra Kumar inaugurated the symposium.

“The symposium has come at a time of challenges like artificial intelligence and others,” Lt General Kumar said, adding that it will serve as a platform for churning out new ideas and building partnerships.
State of art technologies for the defence sector will be showcased as the Union Government is giving a push to the industry under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and defence exports have risen to an all-time high, he said.

Around 180 companies, including 50 start-ups, will showcase their military equipment with cutting-edge technologies at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus on the outskirts of Jammu, officials said.

The equipment will address the operational challenges faced by the Northern Command and other army formations in the country at the event, they added. The symposium facilitates a structured approach to product evaluation, prioritisation, and acquisition while contributing actionable inputs for procurement plans, they said.

A “Type-V Heavy Drop System” in which a parachute is used to drop from an aircraft arms, ammunition and equipment weighing up to 20 tons in a battlefield or an inaccessible high-altitude area was also showcased at the North Tech Symposium.

Designed and developed at the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the system was successfully tested from a cargo aircraft by the Indian Air Force (IAF) recently, officials said.

With the help of this system, arms, equipment and ammunition weighing up to 20 tons can be easily transported and dropped with the help of parachute in the battlefield or inaccessible high-altitude areas, they said.

Being manufactured with 100 per cent indigenous resources, the IAF users have declared it a major success under “Make In India”.

Officials said the testing was jointly completed by the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment, armed forces and Airbornics Defence and Space Private Limited (defence division of JCBL).
“The system can be used for C-17, C-130 and other C-series aircraft. It has a platform and a special multi-stage parachute system,” an official said.

It consists of eight main canopies, three extractor parachutes, one drogue parachute and electrical, electronic, mechanical systems and other latching accessories. The platform of this system is made of a special aluminium metal, they said.

Preparations have been completed for the induction of this system into the armed forces, he added.
It is being manufactured by Airbornics Defence and Space Private Limited.

ADSPL is involved in R&D activities with aerial delivery research and development establishment, Agra (DRDO) since 2018 for development of such systems for the needs of the armed forces, officials said.

The inaugural ceremony of North Tech Symposium was witness to the presence of luminaries from the Army, the world of Academia, and the expanse of Industry, accentuating the grand confluence of knowledge and innovation.

Prof Anurag Misra, Dean of IIT Jammu, echoed the sentiments of unity and progress, setting the symposium’s tone with his pride in hosting this monumental event on the IIT-Jammu campus.

SP Shukla, President of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) expressed gratitude at being part of this historic occasion.

He underlined the transformative journey of India’s Defence Sector, proudly asserting that 75% of Army products now bear the ‘Make in India’ emblem. Shukla called upon the academic institutions to champion the ‘Make In India’ spirit.