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Need to identify dual-use technologies that can be used for military applications: Army Chief

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Tuesday pitched for carrying out a reality check on military technologies that are required to be fielded operationally in the Indian context.

He said the Indian armed forces will have to pay adequate emphasis on the available "disruptive technologies" that have dual use and are being driven by commercial entities and innovations.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Army, Gen Naravane said that an overarching national mission to identify the needs and congruence of products into military applications must form the modernisation strategy for the armed forces.

His comments came in the backdrop of the Defence Ministry's renewed emphasis on ensuring self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

"There is a need to carry out a reality check as to which are the technologies that are required to be fielded operationally in the Indian context," he said at the seminar on 'Impact of Disruptive Technologies and Fighting Philosophy in Future Conflicts'.

The Indian Army is working on a massive modernisation drive to enhance its combat capabilities in view of the evolving security challenges.

"We have to identify technologies that are feasible to be developed/procured indigenously or in collaboration, considering our indigenous technological base and costs involved in the development," Gen Naravane said.

"We need to invest in these technologies alone and work in long term for maturing and fielding of these technologies," he added.

The Army Chief also highlighted the impact of disruptive technologies in warfare and emphasised that the current modernisation drive was focused on upgrading existing weapon systems and platforms.

He recommended that an overarching national mission to identify the needs and congruence of products into military applications must form part of armed forces modernisation strategy, the Army said in a press statement.

Under the theme of disruptive technologies, the seminar deliberated on the application of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, big data analytics, quantum computing and cyber warfare in the military sphere in India.

Two weeks back, the Defence Minister announced a ban on import of 101 military systems and weapons like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines and cruise missiles in a staggered manner by 2024 to promote India's domestic defence industry.

Following the announcement, the Defence Ministry has initiated a series of measures to promote the domestic defence industry.

The Defence Ministry has set a goal of a turnover of US$ 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years that included an export target of US$ 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware.

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