Antony calls for more thrust on research and development

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New Delhi, Nov 6(ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Friday underlined the need for greater investment and innovation in the field of research and development (R and D) in Defence.

Addressing a function at the Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence in the national capital, Antony said the Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories should invest substantially in R and D to build capability in design and development to create synergy between DRDO Labs and production agencies.

Referring to the emerging demand of new and high technology products and services, the minister called for continuous updating of technologies through in-house development and other methods of acquisition.

"Each of the Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories (OFs) are in possession of several technologies and exchange of information and pooling of these technological resources will ensure better utilization of assets and product improvement," Antony said.

He added that it would also avoid duplication of efforts and help achieve better value for money.

Antony further said the economic reforms being implemented since the 1990's have dramatically changed the conditions under which the Public Sector Enterprises have to function, while many sectors, including the Defence Industry, which were earlier reserved for development only in the public sector, were also opened to the private sector.

He was of the opinion that Public Sector Enterprises will have to continue their adjustment process and improve their competitive edge to survive.

Referring to the dependence of the Armed Forces on arms import, Antony said: "It is the area where we need to concentrate and reduce our dependence on imports by taking effective steps to achieve self-reliance in defence preparedness to the maximum extent possible."

"The goal of self-reliance can be best achieved by optimal utilization of national resources, and the Defence PSUs, Ordnance Factories, DRDO and Armed Forces must follow an integrated approach towards indigenization efforts," he added.

Antony also informed that an investment of over Rs.2,100 crores is being made for the modernization programme of Defence Shipyards. (ANI)

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