Modernise rapidly, armed forces told

New Delhi, July 7 (Calcutta Tube) The lifespan of weapons systems has shortened in the face of rapid technology advancement, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said Wednesday, asking the Indian armed forces to keep abreast with the cutting edge transformation.

‘The gestation periods ranging from 10-15 years are history and we have to keep abreast with the cutting edge technology in all spheres. This period has to be abridged with the process of focussed interaction between the army, the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) as well as public and private industry,’ Raju said.

The minister was inaugurating a two-day international seminar on ‘Missile Technology focusing on a family of Future Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM)’.

Despite the advent of atomic weapons, Raju said, a conventional conflict between nuclear capable states could not be ruled out.

‘The Kargil conflict in 1999 amply highlighted that despite the nuclear dimension, the probability of occurrence of conventional conflict exists.’

Raju underlined the need for regional and global security dialogue. ‘The nature of conflict today is determined more by political, social, economic and strategic imbalances than by military factors alone.

‘We need to coordinate nationally and globally, and enforce cooperative security as a strategy at the regional and international levels,’ he said.

Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh highlighted the ‘pivotal role’ played by the armed forces in providing a secure environment to the nation to pursue its economic policies.

He stressed on the need to indigenously develop a family of ATGMs that can be launched from a variety of platforms.

The two-day seminar is organised by the Directorate General Mechanized Forces and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

It will provide a forum for the industry to understand the challenges in designing, development and serial production of the ATGMs likely to be introduced in the future.

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