Aerospace power is fundamental to national security: IAF vice-chief

November 7th, 2008 - 4:41 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Nov.7 (ANI): “The relevance of aerospace power has increased tremendously and it is fundamental to national security,” said Air Marshal P V Naik, Vice Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force.
“Aerospace power is a critical component of national power. It is an important strategic capability to deal with internal security issues besides disasters and emergencies. It would be a vital engine for the growth of our economy as well,” he said.
He was speaking at the Third International Conference on ”Energising Indian Aerospace Industry”, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly with Indian Air Force and Centre for Air Power Studies here today.
Air Marshal Naik said, “There are many core areas where the cutting edge technology is not available. In this scenario, public-private partnership (PPP) is desirable to develop the required advanced technology.”
“The New DPP-2008 has taken a number of steps to facilitate indigenization and has provided greater freedom to DPSUs to form joint ventures with private and multinational consortiums. MoD (Ministry of Defence) procurement in the current Five-Year Plan is likely to be around 100 billion dollar,” he said. “Instead of just technology transfer, the focus should be on mastering critical and advanced technologies,” emphasized Air Marshal Naik.
In his Presidential address, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC said, “The Indian defence industry needs to improve in many ways. Its real test would lie in producing a successful LCA (Light Combat Aircraft).”
“We should not be too dependent on foreign countries to fulfill our requirements of weapons, defence equipment and spare parts. We need to be independent because in the time of war or any severe crisis, it may lead to serious problems of unavailability of critical parts,” he said.
“We have been reluctant to share defence tasks with civil bodies, thinking that some secrets may be out this way. But I feel that in many cases this is quite unnecessary and this mentality must change to ensure greater cooperation with other agencies,” he added.
Delivering the keynote address, Mustikar, Managing Director, Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited, said: “Presently the global air industry is worth $1,500 billion and the Asia-Pacific region is likely to lead the growth in the global aerospace industry.”
He emphasized that the Indian defence industry should also focus on other important areas like design technology and data protocols, rather than limiting itself to just licensed productions.
In his opening remarks, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, Director, Centre for Air Power Studies, said, “The private sector in India has come of age. It has a new role to play, especially in the defence sector, under the changed world realities.”
“There is a saying that while you can play golf in the football field, you cannot play football on the golf course. The same applies to public sector vis-a-vis the private sector,” he added.
The two-day seminar will conclude tomorrow. The Valedictory Session will be addressed by Air Chief Marshal F H Major and the keynote address will be delivered by Pradeep Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production.
The session will be chaired by for Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi. (ANI)

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