‘India should scout for critical material for defence needs’

Availability of raw materials, manufacturing capabilities and reverse engineering are some of the areas that make China different from India, said Anil Datar, director, Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in the city. "All the enabling materials (the materials used in production of critical defence equipment) are made by China. They (the Chinese) have encouraged industry to acquire mines that produce such materials. We must therefore think deep and develop strategy as to how this materials can be made available for indigenous defence production," Datar said.

Speaking at the two-day seminar, Defence Preparedness of India viz a viz China and its Impact on Asia organised by the India Development Council, Datar delivered a lecture on role of DRDO in indigenous defence production. Commenting on the 155 mm, 52 calibre artillery gun system the ARDE has been working on, he said, "This has been part of the Artillery Modernisation programme of the Indian Army and the MoD has mandated us to develop this gun. A more ambitious programme than the Arty system is F-INSAS which consists of 50-odd technologies. It will also have civilian spinoffs."

In his 45-minute lecture, Datar said, "While Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni V has allowed India to achieve credible level of nuclear deterrence against China, a lot needs to be done on Long Range missiles and ICBMs. Defending seas is another area that cannot be neglected. The Chinese are planning overall growth in science and technology which in turn is reflecting on their defence preparedness. The much less talked about deepsea warfare is an area China has been focusing on and we need to protect ourselves against that," he said.

He also reviewed the Chinese as well as Indian deployments on the borders including the raising of new formations of the Indian Army, deployment of Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, Brahmos missiles and tank units.

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