New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI) India is in the process of reorganising and right-sizing its armed forces into a leaner and agile military driven by new age technologies in the areas of cyberspace, electronic warfare and artificial intelligence, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said on Thursday.
In an address at an event, he also said that a roadmap is being put in place to enhance integration and synergy amongst the Indian armed forces with “time-bound milestones”.
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The chief of defence staff said India is focusing on becoming self-reliant in defence manufacturing as its aspirations to emerge as a regional power can no longer be held hostage to arms imports.
“Warfare is changing and so are the threats, especially for India. There are collusive threats from our neighbouring nations, border intrusions across terrestrial borders and the new phenomenon of multi-front warfare spanning borders,” he said.
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Gen Rawat said the armed forces of the nation must be prepared for future challenges with ‘changing’ security dynamics given the uncertain environment around India.
Emphasising the need for acquiring new age technologies, he said nations are aware that control over technology defines economic, political and military power.
“We are in the process of reorganisation and right-sizing the armed forces into a leaner and agile force driven by technology in the fields of space, cyber, electronic warfare and special forces,” Gen Rawat said.
“Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for our defence preparedness is being given due importance,” he said at the Def-Tech India conference.
The chief of defence staff said the pursuit of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, big data analytics, drone technology, unmanned systems and militarisation of space along with “manipulation of social media” are leading to the emergence of new threats.
“While these technologies are constantly reshaping the contours of the threat, they provide us an opportunity to acquire new enabling military capabilities for strategic advantage,” he said.
Gen Rawat said growth of Indian defence manufacturing is likely to accelerate with rising concerns over national security.
“The Indian industry today is on the cusp of entering into a new era where it will assume greater responsibility in making the nation self-reliant in defence production. The resurgence of India’s manufacturing sector has been remarkable,” he said.
“The sector not only saw an increase in profits but also saw increased footprints in foreign countries with many Indian firms becoming transnational companies,” he said.
The chief of defence staff said India is fast developing into a manufacturing hub for world corporations which are wanting to leverage the sector’s proven skills in product design, customisation with creativity, assured quality and value addition.
“India’s aspirations of being a regional power can no longer be held hostage to arms imports. During the period 2016-20, we have remained the world’s second largest arms importer, although the latest data on global arms transfer shows that our arms imports have come down by 33 per cent since 2016,” he said.
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