Imported defence systems are like crutches that can provide only temporary sustenance but not enduring muscle-strength. Dependence on imports makes a nation hostage to the policies of the exporting nations and captive to the dictates of unscrupulous foreign vendors. Therefore, ‘Make in India’ is a highly overdue clarion call and a mission statement.
The book identifies reasons for the dismal state of the Indian defence industry and suggests corrective measures. It recommends integration of the private sector and support to MSMEs. Need for an ecosystem to foster innovations has also been emphasised.
As the defence industry is characterised by rapid obsolescence, regular infusion of the latest defence technologies is essential. FDI is not just a question of getting funds, but access the latest know-how as well. Similarly, the powerful leverage of offsets can be used to obtain technologies that industrially-advanced nations are unwilling to sell.
Finally, the book suggests establishment of a Defence and Aerospace Commission to oversee all functions pertaining to armament production, acquisitions and exports.
Of Matters Military Defence Production and Mission ‘Make in India’
Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD commanded an Engineer Regiment in the most hostile battlefield in the world, i.e. the Siachen Glacier. He was the Task Force Commander at Pokharan and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests. For that, he was duly decorated by the President of India.
He is considered to be India’s foremost expert on myriad aspects of India’s defence procurement regime and offsets. He is regularly invited to address various Indian chambers, associations and foreign industrial delegations. He is a prolific writer and has published more than 550 papers in different journals and newspapers; many have been translated into foreign languages. His views command immense respect.
This is General Suman’s seventh book. His earlier books deal with issues confronting the Indian armed forces; reasons for the tardy procurement process; controversies afflicting recent defence contracts; reasons for growing anti-nationalism in India; and his years in the olive green. His last book chronicles digging of shafts for the nuclear tests and combat engineer support in Siachen.