Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh AVSM VSM, Air Officer In-Charge Maintenance, IAF said that IAF is poised to become a multi-spectrum Air Force with force multipliers and space based assets while speaking during the Inaugural Session of the 10th International Conference on Energizing Indian Aerospace Industry: A Road Ahead jointly organised by CII and Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) in association with the Indian Air Force at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
He further said that major modernisation initiatives in the Indian Armed Forces and growth in commercial aerospace sector has fuelled the growth of Indian aerospace industry. Futuristic technologies in aviation such as increased use of composites, modern engine technology, all weather capabilities and so on are being adopted, and for achieving this goal, it is important to focus on design and development of requisite equipment in house. Indian companies need to develop capabilities and capacities to meet such demands. They need to focus not only on wealth creation and job opportunities but in nation building process and supporting the armed forces. Indian aerospace industry must strive to become a part of global aerospace industry, focusing on quality, competitiveness and innovation, failing which it will only be a peripheral player. He also mentioned that India is fast emerging as a favourite global destination as far as Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) sector is concerned. The Defence Production Policy is under formulation which will enable more effective synergy between public and private sectors.
Mr Dhirendra Singh, Former Home Secretary, Government of India and Chairman of the Committee of Experts to review Defence Procurement Procedure and Suggest Framework for Make in India, said that the ongoing initiative of MoD in defence procurement and acquisition policy would definitely make huge impact on the defence manufacturing sector. He further mentioned that better synergy among the various departments of the Ministry of Defence would make the entire system more efficient thereby resolving several existing issues. Better synergy will also lead to higher degree of Indigenisation and self-reliance. He emphasized on the fact that there is a need for having more system integrators in India especially in the private sector. This would help in energizing Indian Aerospace Industry in word and spirit.
Air Marshal Vinod Patney, Director General, CAPS brought out that the objective of this conference is to foster a constructive and mutually beneficial environment between Aerospace Industry and the users. The civil and military aviation are undergoing major transformation. Government policies and support are providing the necessary impetus to industry that is poised to become a global player with export potential. He brought out that Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had recently mentioned that the Indian Armed Forces should treat Indian industry as a partner and not as a vendor. He also mentioned that no country can be recognized as a reckonable power by being permanently at the mercy of imported arms and equipments to meet its aspirations and agenda. Our progress in the technological prowess is not in consonance with our objective in achieving overall self-reliance. Therefore, dedicated R&D and Indigenization hold the key in our efforts to achieve self-reliance.
Mr Sujith Haridas, DDG, CII mentioned that to energise the defence industrial base, defence orders should roll out. There is a need to de-bottleneck issues related to defence offsets and defence procurement. There exist huge potential for the Indian defence industry if the defence offsets contracts can be expedited. CII is extending its support to Government of India’s various initiatives including Make in India and Skill India. CII in partnership with National Skill Development Corporation is setting up a Strategic Manufacturing Sector Skill Council which would cater to the existing skill gap in the sector.