BENGALURU, Nov 19: Private industries will play a very important role not only in enhancing Indian Air Force capabilities but also in increasing the productivity and production ability of defence public sector units, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said on Sunday.
Responding to a question during a session at the Synergia Conclave 2023, he said the private industry also needs to ensure that they match up with the production capability to ensure that the rollout of fighters that the Air Force orders takes place on time.
He said there is definitely a huge role for the private industry to enhance IAF’s capability by helping the lead integrators roll out aircraft.
“Without doubt, the private industry will play a very important role, not only in enhancing our capability but also in enhancing the productivity or the production capability of the defence PSUs,” the IAF chief said.
“What we have to understand is that though we place the order on the defence PSU for any equipment, they (the private sector) will perform primarily the role of being lead integrators.
“The large number of components and spare parts that go into making the aircraft as a whole come from many private industries in the country,” he added.
Responding to a question on the indigenous capacity of India, he said huge steps are being taken to ensure the indigenisation of key components.
He said the ongoing indigenisation efforts cover key components such as radars, avionics systems and Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, fostering self-reliance.
“The reliance on some foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will probably remain for a few years… Hopefully after that we should be completely independent of the foreign OEMs for niche technologies also,” he said.
He said the Indian Air Force operates fleets from the vintage to the cutting edge. Three fleets are over 60 years old.
He said the Indian Air Force has adopted a strategy of integration to keep them pertinent alongside newer platforms.
“We clearly understand that we cannot phase out older technology platforms and systems. We need to keep them relevant by integrating them along with the newer platforms.
“We have done a lot in this regard in terms of integrating weapon systems, particularly EW systems of newer generation onto old generation platforms,” he said.
He said the Air Force approach revolves around the ABCD framework: Acquire, Boost capabilities of existing systems, Conserve current assets and Develop new technologies.
“This framework reflects the intrinsic DNA of the Indian Air Force, emphasising the need for a continuous cycle of acquiring, enhancing, preserving, and innovating technologies,” he said.
In envisioning the future of military capabilities, Chaudhari articulated the transformative role of AI and machine learning in shaping the next generation of warfare.
He underscored the imperative of these technologies, saying this will be an absolute must and will require AI and machine learning infused technology.”
Delving into the realm of advanced weaponry, Chaudhari highlighted the pivotal role of cutting-edge armaments, singling out hypersonic weapons as game-changers with the ability to evade ballistic missile defences. (PTI)