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How PM Modi's Make in India will change the aerospace and defence sector

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, Feb 17: Dr V K Saraswat, NITI Ayog member said on Tuesday that the Make in India initiative being piloted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ring in revolutionary changes to the aerospace and defence industry in the country.

In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, Dr Saraswat said that the Make in India campaign should become technology-intense as it picks up momentum. "I would like to see the process moving from design, development and Make in India (D2MI2) in a systematic manner.

Make In India brings changes to Defence

We have been lagging behind technology from time immemorial. Since we have a technology gap, the only way to accelerate the process is through collaborating with good partners who are willing to work with us on the D2MI2model," said DrSaraswat, who arrived in Bengaluru for the Aero India 2015.

Maximum impetus to A&D industry

He said the Centre is committed to provide maximum impetus to the aerospace and defence(A&D) industry. "The government wants to give a push and increase the technology competence. We want the trajectory always on the upward swing. For country's economic growth, science and technology needs to be leveraged," the top missile brain said.

When specifically asked about the role he will be playing in NITI Ayog, DrSarswats said: "It's been only 10 days since I took up the new assignment. My mission is to help transform India through variousresult-oriented missions."

Make In India brings changes to Defence

He said the Make in India should be applied aggressively in the aerospace and defence sector. "I have been advocating that in all the programmes of Government of India, there has to be a mandatory technology component. Technology intervention is the key to India's march towards becoming a developed nation," Dr Saraswat said.

Tejas Mk-2 a great opportunity

He said Tejas Mk-2 is an opportunity and India must develop the aircraft concurrently with Tejas Mk-1. "Tejas Mk-2 cannot be achieved through HAL alone.

It has to be achieved through more industry partners. Even for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft programme, we need a bigger engine. We must integrate systems along with photonic to reduce weight," DrSaraswat said.

He wanted integrated modular systems to be adopted for AMCA. Even for the FGFA project he wanted to incorporate the D2MI2 model for better results.

Make In India brings changes to Defence

He said India has already started work on stealth technology along with various academic institutions.

Indian missiles need to be lighter

He said the missiles being made by India are heavier in nature, though their performance can be matched to the best in the world.

"We have made rapid strides on the missile front. But our missiles must weigh lighter. We need to shrink the size. We need to develop smarter reentry guidance systems for future missiles. We also need to develop high-performance nano composites. Even our navigation systems need to be gen-next ones," the top scientist said.

We should develop ASAT capabilities

He felt that the Inertial Navigation System on Chip (IOC) must get embedded on to India's future missiles. "But, we still have to go some distance before developing sensor technology," he added.


He said India must be prepared with adequate systems that can neutralize satellites. "China and the US have successfully demonstrated their ASAT (anti-satellite) capabilities. We should also be prepared. We must master technologies, including space-based lasers and other high-energy weapons systems," DrSaraswat added.

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consulting Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake)

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