India defence minister pushes for local development of smart ammunition


Ammo India: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday urged the local defence companies to indigenously design and develop smart ammunitions as these are reality of the new age warfare. Singh said a country’s economic development and progress in the field of science and technology is reflected in the capacity of its weapons and ammunition.

“The country has come far ahead of those times when a bomb’s size and explosive capacity were the only things that mattered. Now, their smartness is as important,” Singh said while addressing a programme at the Military Ammunition (Ammo India) held in the national capital New Delhi.

The defence minister said history teaches us that whenever anyone was able to dominate the world, it was because they did various experiments and research in the field of ammunition. The country should focus its attention on where it is standing today in terms of research and development, indigenous capacity and manufacturing capability in this area.

Highlighting the importance of the development of ammunition which is crucial not only for security, but also for socio-economic progress of the country, the minister in his address urged the private sector and private sector, academia, start-ups, academia, to work with the Government in catering to the ammunition needs of the Armed Forces.

Indigenous design, development & production of ammunition is very important for India to be a world power and one of the preferred countries for defence production, said the minister.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (File Photo).

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Pointing out the significant role precision-guided munitions employment at the Muntho Dhalo base had played during the Kargil war, Defence Minister said that as a result, the country was able to achieve a very big victory in this war. And yesterday (July 26) only, we celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the Kargil war.”

After the Pulwama terror attack in 2019, India again saw the precision capability of these munitions, which helped the armed forces achieve success in their mission.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said one should keep in mind that in the future too, the ammunition — in accordance with their changing specialities — will continue to play a major role in wars. In the modern battlefields, the ammunition are coming forward in their new avatar.

“They are able to take inputs by themselves, do course correction and target a particular place at a specific time once they have been programmed to do so,” the minister noted. “Like any capable hunter, these ammunition are able to keep their sight at the target for a very long time.”

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Singh also highlighted the efforts made by the government to empower the domestic industry which is critical for bolstering national security by equipping the Armed Forces with home-grown world-class weapons and systems. This also includes the three positive indigenisation lists which have been notified by the Ministry of Defence, which is in line with the government’s emphasis towards indigenous manufacturing of ammunition.

There are 43 items including Guided Extended Range rockets for Pinaka, Advanced Light Weight Torpedo, Anti-Radiation Missiles or Loitering Munition, and weapons systems which are important for the ammunition industry.

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Singh also informed that six of the seven new state owned defence companies, which have been carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board, have reported profit within six months of their inception. According to the minister, one of the seven new companies — Munitions India Limited has received export orders worth Rs 500 crore.

The minister also released a  knowledge paper and also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing products developed by the Indian Navy, DPSUs and the private sector. Jointly organised by industry body FICCI and Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) – a wide range of ammunition requirements of the Armed Forces will be covered during different sessions.

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