Wellington: Army chief Gen Manoj Pande identified identified technology as the new strategic competition arena in the world with its weaponization extending across various domains from Information to Supply Chains.

In his address at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, he further discussed the expansion of warfare into new domains, including Space, Cyber, Electro-Magnetic Spectrum, and Information.

General Manoj Pande was addressing the faculty and officers of the 79th Staff Course, including 36 officers from friendly foreign nations, on Monday. His discourse covered critical topics such as National Security, the geostrategic landscape and emerging trends, and the Indian Army's Transformational Initiatives.

General Manoj Pande emphasised the importance of cross-functional synergy among the three services to effectively assess threats, articulate strategies, identify capabilities, formulate policies, achieve preparedness, and respond appropriately within the National Security framework.

Addressing the geo-strategic landscape and emerging trends, the Chief of Army Staff highlighted the unprecedented scale and speed of change in the current global arena. He pointed out the emergence of new trendlines triggered by this rapid change, underscoring how disruptive technologies are reshaping conventional combat force ratios.

General Manoj Pande identified 'technology' as the new strategic competition arena, with its weaponization extending across various domains from information to supply chains. He discussed the expansion of warfare into new domains, including space, cyber, the electro-magnetic spectrum, and information, the release stated.

The Chief of Army Staff also noted the rapid technological advancement in kinetic war instruments, making the battlefield increasingly complex, contested, and lethal. He urged the officers to always be prepared for Black Swan events and "expect the unexpected."

Highlighting India's ascent on the global stage, he stressed the growing need to safeguard India's national interests across expanding strategic horizons. General Manoj Pande called for strategic balance, underscoring the necessity for India to be strong and self-reliant in its defence capabilities.

He also shed light on the Indian Army's ongoing transformative initiatives, particularly emphasising the 'Year of Tech Absorption' in 2024.

Highlighting the key areas of focus in the ongoing process of tech absorption, General Manoj Pande stressed aligning and synergizing technology at strategic, operational, and tactical levels within existing systems; mapping futuristic and emerging technologies as drivers of military technology; strengthening the defence technology ecosystem to maintain a lead in the military technology curve; ensuring that acquisition and procurement facilitate the seamless induction of technology; and fostering techno warriors and commanders, the release stated.

General Manoj Pande urged the student officers to drive the ongoing transformation in the Indian Army and asked them to maintain the highest standards of professionalism, while always keeping organisational interests supreme.

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