Must build strong technological base and be alert 24x7: Antony

Bangalore, Feb 7 (PTI) It is imperative for India tobe self-reliant by developing a strong technological base incritical technologies and alert 24x7 in the rapidly changingscenario, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.

"I do not think any country in the world, howeverfriendly they are, would like to part with their most modern''A'' grade technology with any other. That is the reality," hesaid, inaugurating the eighth edition of Aero India 2011International Seminar here.

"Until we gradually develop our own strongtechnological base in critical technologies we cannot sayIndia has come of age," he said while reiterating thrust onachieving self-reliance in critical defence technologies.

It was essential for all stakeholders, including DRDO,industry, universities,research institutions and other arms tocome together. Such coordination, Antony said, would receivegovernment support.

He said while the success of Tejas, Akash missilesystem and unmanned aircraft Nishant, pilotless targetaircraft Lakshya and airborne early warning systems weresatisfying, "a lot more needs to be done to meet the needs ofarmed forces".

DRDO and the armed forces need to step up the qualityand pace of interactions to develop latest technologies andthe best products, he said.

"In the years to come DRDO must be in a position tosignificantly enhance the percentage of indigenous systems foruse of our armed forces", he said adding that efforts torealise successful aerospace products in shorter time-framesthrough global cooperation must also be stepped up.

"Cooperation at every level-local, national or globalis an absolute necessity for progress in technology, speciallydefence technology," Antony said.

He said opportunities are there for all to forgecloser links with national and international institutions.

Such linkages are a must for laying down foundation forsustainable technological progress and growth, Antony said.

Antony said India has chalked out a roadmap to developmany challenging aerospace programmes and expressed confidenceof great opportunities, not only for indigenous institutionsand industries, but also for all partners across the globe.

Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju saidDRDO has close to 800 industry partners for development ofdefence products and India partners institutions in 20countries.

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