In Pursuance of Make in India: Mechanised Forces Take a Step Forward

Issues Details: 
Vol 10 Issue 4 Sep - Oct 2016
Page No.: 
Sub Title: 
Developing jointmanship between the Army and the Industry
Editorial Team
Monday, October 3, 2016
Mechanised Forces constitute an important integral of the Indian Army as they do of the armies the world over. Requirement of equipment/technologies for the mechanised forces is intrinsic. At present almost 70% of such requirements in our case are met through imports.  This is fraught with challenges in terms of availability of niche technologies, geo strategic relationships and increased costs et al. Make in India initiative offers a great opportunity to leverage the provisions therein to encourage the Indian industry to undertake development of requisite technologies as well as equipment thus reducing dependence on foreign vendors. With a view to facilitate better understanding between the mechanised forces and the private defence industry an ‘Equipment Familiarisation & Display’ and a ‘Workshop’ were organised at Armoured Corps Centre and School & the Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre in Jul 2016.
The event was conceptualised and organised by DGMF based on Service Headquarters approval and was coordinated through CII, FICCI and NSIC to ensure focused and meaningful interaction.       
The event was conducted in two parts.
Part 1: Orientation cum Equipment Familiarisation Program (07-09 Jul 2016). This initiative was for enabling better understanding of the equipment by the engineers/R&D personnel of the private industry. The event facilitated the attendees to familiarize with the various systems/sub systems and the complexities of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs). Participants included engineers/R&D personnel from the industry and director level officers from MGO’s Branch, Ordnance and EME Directorates DRDO, OFB, and DGQA. The focus of the event was as under: -
• Orientation with the AFV Platforms.
• Familiarization with the Major Unit Assemblies (MUAs)/ Sub-Assemblies.
• Functioning of systems/ sub systems as part of the whole platform(s).
Part II: Interactive Workshop & Equipment Park (15-16 Jul 2016). This event was attended by the senior officers of the Army Headquarters and senior members of the industry. A total of 156 industry representatives attended the event. The event focused on enabling better mutual understanding in so far as requirements of the army and capabilities/limitations of the industry are concerned. Salient aspects covered are as under:-
• Pragmatically synergize the capability of the Indian defence industry with regard to meeting the aspirations of the Mechanised Forces.
• Objectively harness the capabilities  of the Indian private defence industry towards meeting the needs of the Mechanised Forces.
• Orientate the Indian def Industry with the AFVs of the mechanised forces and provide an user perspective of their functionality.
• Help the industry in understanding the complexities of AFVs design.
• Orientation of the Industry with the MUAs/sub- assemblies (s) and spares for AFVs.
The event is bound to increase the synergy between the army on the one hand and the private defence industry on the other. This would help in exploiting the ‘Make in India’ initiative meaningfully towards  capacity building and modernisation of the Mechanised Forces.
Takeaways from the event are: -
• The intent of the mechanised forces to leverage the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government for capability development and modernization of mechanised forces.
• Need for collaborative approach between the industry and the mechanised forces.
• To address present challenges there is a need to work out an outcome oriented institutionalized frame work towards harnessing the capability of the private industry including medium & small scale industries.
Military Technology