Friday, October 16, 2009

Indian Air Force to meet future needs indigenously

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) will fully back indigenous enterprises to develop critical technologies to not only meet its future needs but also to reduce dependency on external sources, its top commander said Thursday.

"There are many critical technologies for which we still remain dependent on external sources. These are obviously very zealously guarded and their denial often impedes our indigenisation plans. We, as a nation, must concentrate on developing local expertise in these critical technologies," IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said.

"It is time for all to take some bold decisions and I assure you that the Indian Air Force will back indigenous enterprise fully. We have to emerge out of this dependence on foreign technology and develop self reliance," he added while inaugurating a seminar on aerospace technologies here.

"At the moment, we are highly dependent on foreign vendors for a large proportion of our equipment, and changing this situation is the challenge before the Indian industry."

"Our country spends a very large amount of money on defence equipment procurements. If we could tap into a percentage of that outflow, it would greatly benefit our economy and of course, our overall technological infrastructure," Naik maintained.

He said this could be achieved by entering into partnerships and joint ventures involving the domestic industry, which would plough back its profits into the country.

About the future needs of the IAF, Naik said: "The future will see very localised forms of conflict with limited objectives, conducted at a very high intensity. The IAF would seek to dominate the realms of aerospace, information and cyberspace to create a transparent and pliant battle space with a high degree of situational awareness."

"I visualize that the IAF would become a responsive, net-centric force, proactive and capable of harnessing the enormous capabilities of space. I seek real-time control of satellites and greater synergy in joint operations," he added.

At the tactical level, Naik said networking of all assets on a secure data-link in near future would enable the commanders execute campaigns with quicker decision cycles.

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