Complete indigenisation is not cost-effective: DRDO Chief

Complete indigenisation is not cost-effective: DRDO Chief

Pointing out that only 30 per cent of the products were developed indigenously, Antony had asked the PSUs to “pull up their socks,” and focus on building capacities within the country to attain higher levels of  self-reliance.

Two years later,  in sharp contrast, the theme of the international seminar at Aero India 20011, jointly organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), is “Aero & Space Technologies –– Success Through Global Co-operation,” reflecting the change in the way the Ministry of Defence (MoD) thinks today.

That self-reliance does not always mean a production system which is completely indigenous is a key lesson that military services across the globe, including the North Americans have known. In the recent past, MoD has also been singing the same song with proposals of opening up defence manufacturing sector, increased foreign collaboration and so on.

Sponsored by three foreign companies, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Embraer and SAAB, the seminar will have a host of papers being presented including a paper by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman Ashok Nayak on “Aerospace Technologies and Success Through Global Co-operation – The HAL experience.”

India, has been involved in significant foreign collaborations and some joint venture production deals. Scientific Advisor to Antony and DRDO chief V K Saraswat, who assumes a great role in decision making at the Centre had recently said: “Going the all-indigenous way will never make sense in any project... as it will not be cost-effective and will also have logistical problems. No country in the world does that.” He had said that only 75 per cent indigenisation will be possible with projects.

Former Air Chief Marshal F H Major, who was at the helm during the last Aero Show, while recalling what Antony had said, told Deccan Herald: “What India is looking at now is for a continuous quest for indigenisation with  appropriate foreign collaboration.”

Nobody in the world, including Americans make everything by themselves, he said, adding: “We need to find the right balance through the right partners.”