The current regional tensions and rising influence of an aggressive China, has put India at crossroads to various security threats. At this time, developing our defense capability is of the utmost importance to stay both, prepared for a situation of crisis and prevent the risk of war by creating deterrence.
Recently, the center had to scrap an Rs 32,000-crore project to build 12 advanced minesweepers (MCMVs), specialized warships, which detect, track and destroy mines along the coast. They have a very low acoustic, magnetic, electrical and pressure signatures. These vessels are designed to have high shock resistance against underwater explosions.
The deal was initiated with a South Korea-based, Kangnam Corporation, and Goa Shipyard Limited, which failed due to commercial complications of the transfer of technology. Earlier last year the much in the news Tata-Lockheed Martin partnership created problems for the same transfer of technology as Lockheed Martin denied 100% transfer of technology and also were apprehensive of taking ownership of the quality of Jets manufactured.
The logic behind such challenges is simple; the west has capitalized on the east deficiency of technology by scaling up markets for defense products in the region. Thus, they will never want to give away the advantage for the sake of ending dependency since it would affect their primary business. Relying on them for transfer of technology is like keeping false hopes to upgrade defense technology.
Outsourcing can be a temporary option, but that will not come without compromising a great deal on our terms and conditions. Instead, we must aim at strengthening our Research and Development Wing. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday unveiled Centre’s plan to set up manufacturing innovation center at CODISSIA Coimbatore for which Rs.20 Crore is proposed.
However, strengthening our research and development wing needs more than infrastructure or monetary investment; we lack in the direction of such investments. We need to create a foundation but with the simultaneous development of human resource, by attracting and retaining top engineering talent that supports current goals and fuels the future. India does not lack in talent but requires in the identification, nurturing and allocation of existing and new talent especially in the defense sector.
Hence, we need to understand that technology, if, is owned by an entity that is a human brain, it has the potential to create, recreate and transform it into new levels. This is quite evident from the fact that we were able to pull through various defense projects indigenous last year itself such as Indigenous artillery Gun, Indigenous ‘Glide’ bomb, Brahmos supersonic missile, Nirbhay cruise missile, INS Kalvari, INS Arihant, are some to name a few.
This may be a time taking process, but this is better than the all-time dependency on foreign countries and the only solution to futuristic objectives.