‘Indian industry best partner for Army’s modernisation’

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) India’s private industry has matured into a dynamic self-reliant sector and is now capable of undertaking design and development works for the armed forces indigenously as well as in collaboration with foreign countries, Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor said here Thursday.

“Indian industry has demonstrated its capabilities in the fields of information technology and other core sectors and the army expects it to achieve excellence in defence technology too,” he said.

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Kapoor was addressing the Army-Industry Partnership Meet 2007, an international seminar on the Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS), jointly organised by the army’s Infantry Directorate and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“The future paradigm of warfare would have numerous dimensions. The environment would be information warfare oriented, operational and tactical situations would call for speedy decision-making, and integration with other services would be vital,” the army chief said.

“Enhanced intelligence, training skills, flexibility and adaptability for infantry have become increasingly important as the army equipment and weapon systems have become sophisticated and complex,” Kapoor added.

The F-INSAS concept has been evolved keeping in mind the future digitised battlefield where it would be necessary to achieve full integration of individual soldiers into a higher level of combat architecture.

The concept harnesses advanced technologies to enable infantry soldiers instantly read the battle environment and respond either individually or as a tactical team with speed, precision, lethality and agility exploiting all the supporting combat components.

According to Lt. Gen, Rajender Singh, Director General Infantry at the Integrated Headquarters of Defence (Army), the infantry soldier of the future should have multi-terrain and multi-environment capability to fight as an autonomous combat platform networked into the overall system.

“Fourth generation warfare imperatives would make the infantry predominant and involve close combat and fighting in built up areas,” he noted, adding: “F-INSAS will play a major role in the future battlefield in deceiving, demoralising, disintegrating and destroying the enemy.”

Thus, the soldier of the future “must possess an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition system along with precise, accurate and lethal firepower assets.

“An automated command, control and communications system to network the soldier to the rest of the war fighting machinery is also the requirement of the modern battlefield,” Singh added.

With the world’s leading defence contractors willing to participate and the availability of cutting edge technology in India through joint ventures or transfer arrangements, the Indian Army “is confident of having a smooth integration of the best suited components in partnership with industry in the shortest possible time”, Singh maintained.

Speaking from the industry perspective, Atul Dev Tayal, managing director of Rolta Thales, said that since Indian Army soldiers were continuously engaged in counter-insurgency operations, it was important to focus on their multi-mission and multi-role capabilities.

“Lethality, sustainability and mobility are important elements of success for the modern infantry,” he said, adding: “Industry has tremendous opportunity in partnership with defence forces in the fields of microelectronics, imaging and computerisation.”