iTV Network-Sunday Guardian Indian Defence and Aerospace Summit: Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the Indian Army wants to utilise the strength and capabilities of start-ups in indigenous defence projects. General Rawat was addressing the Indian Defence and Aerospace Summit 2019 organised at The Lalit in New Delhi on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

Emphasizing the potential of start-ups, the Army chief said the Indian Army has witnessed the powershift and that’s why it is giving utmost importance to a public-private partnership for developing indigenous defence products.

Addressing the summit, General Rawat said Make in India initiative is helping minimise defence expenditure by a huge margin. Without going into details, he said a specific product, that used to cost around Rs 80 lakh, was manufactured in the country using home-grown technology at the expense of Rs 30 lakh only.

Currently, private industries are being allowed to come forward and narrate their ideas before the armed forces or PSU’s that manufacture defence equipment.

General Rawat said the Indian Army will use resources and talent available in India to built state-of-the-art military hardware to counter local and foreign threats. He said the Indian Army is funding and assisting in the R&D of Ramjet engines in the country and drones that can lift 250 kgs pf payload are undergoing terrain trials.

To make India self-reliant in defence weapon manufacturing, the Centre is setting up the Lucknow-Jhansi defence corridor as the Army wants to become a partner in the 5 trillion economy.

Rawat said it is becoming increasingly difficult to find consensus on terrorism because there is state-sponsored terrorism and sometimes states provide material and moral support to a terrorist group that can’t be defined as terrorism.

Insisting on a global effort to combat terrorism, he said every country should develop its own definition of terrorism as terrorism poses a major threat to national and global security and no nation in the world today can say that they are safe from the scourge of terrorism.

To counter-terrorism and piracy in the Indian Ocean region, there is a need to ensure that lines of communication remain free from outside interference so that the scope for bi-lateral, tri-lateral and multi-lateral initiatives can be taken up by nations and the line of communicaton should always remain open, he added.

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