India’s chief of Army Staff, Gen Dalbir Singh on Wednesday launched the Army Design Bureau (ADB), the interface of the Indian Army that will provide a better understanding of the Army’s requirements to the academia, research organisations and the industry for developing high tech defence products.
Gen Singh said the setting up of ADB comes in the wake of rapid changes in technology and consequent changes in war fighting techniques that requires the ultimate user—the Indian Army to be constantly involved at every stage from conceptualisation to design to development trails and production to sustenance.
Launching the ADB and its website, Gen Singh said the army will come out with a compendium which would help the reaserch and development fraternity in developing indigenous solutions for the force’s modernisation needs.
He added that the ADB will be a “single point contact” and a platform for an interaction between the army and academia, the defence public sector units (PSU), private players to understand the requirements of the army.
In the run-up to the setting up of the ADB, the Indian Army in a first has undertaken a series of Army-Industry-Academia interactions since January this year.
Singh informed that Deputy Chief of Army Staff (DCAOAS-P&S), Lt Gen Subrata Saha, UYSM,YSM,VSM** and his team of senior army officers have been extensively interacting with industry bodies and academia with a view to promote awareness on army’s modernisation needs, discovering capabilities of the industry and encouraging long terms research in academia at various industrial hubs across the country.
Close to 20 such interactions have been carried out till date which saw participation of captains of private industry, MSMEs, start-ups and academia including the IITs. These events provided an exclusive opportunity to the industry and academia representatives to understand the requirements and interact with the top brass of Indian Army and seek clarifications directly from the user.
The website launched by the COAS details all the 10 Make Projects for the Indian Army. These projects includes 125 mm Smooth Bore Barrel with Gun Article, improved ammunition for T-72 and T-90 tanks, 1000 HP engines for T-72 tanks and auxiliary power units for T-90 tanks and others.
These projects have been discussed with the industry and research agencies. In addition, Indian Army is also considering more projects that will be taken up in Make category and the preliminary process for the same is underway.
Gen Singh also emphasized that the Ministry of Defence can make successful use of MAKE projects in import substitution which needs to be accelerated as private industry has time and again proved that they have the requisite technologies, technical competence and capabilities to deliver the solutions. He said that these are the low hanging fruits which the Ministry of Defence can start working on immediately. With increasing levels of import substitution, India will be closer to its goal of self-reliance.