Self-reliance vital to protect nation’s sovereignty: Rajnath Singh | #itsecurity | #infosec

“Ukraine conflict has shown that not only defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected”

“Ukraine conflict has shown that not only defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected”

Self-reliance in defence is essential not only for building domestic capacity but also safeguarding the sovereignty of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday. Ukraine conflict has shown that not just defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected.

He also called on the Indian Air Force (IAF) to transform itself into an aerospace force and be ready to protect the country from ever-evolving threats.

“Change is the law of nature. It is eternal. This law is applicable to war as well. As students of military affairs and geopolitics, it is our duty to keep anticipating the nature of future wars. Steps are being taken by our adversaries towards military use of space. This is likely to have an adverse effect on our interests. We, therefore, need to identify and be fully prepared for the evolving security challenges,” Mr. Singh said delivering the 37th Air Chief Marshal (ACM) P. C. Lal memorial lecture organised by the Air Force Association.

“Imports not the answer”

Talking of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, Mr. Singh said our past experiences had taught us that India could not depend on imports for its security. “Recent conflicts, especially the situation in Ukraine, have told us that not just defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected when it comes to national interests,” he stated.

In such a situation, self-reliance was necessary not only for building domestic capacity, but also for maintaining our independence, Mr. Singh said. The path of self-reliance was not easy to follow. “We may not even find it economical in the beginning. But we are very clear about this, that in the middle and long-term, it will help in building the foundation of a robust industrial base not only in the defence sector, but in every sphere of the industry,” he asserted.

We were also a part of this globalised efforts, Mr. Singh said, noting that companies and countries across the world were rapidly integrating to create common platforms with their counterparts across borders. “But we need to keep in mind that no nation can achieve greatness on the basis of imports only. No nation can progress beyond a limit just on the basis of borrowed capabilities.”

Mr. Singh noted that the use of technology had seen an unprecedented increase in recent times. But expensive platforms and weapon systems alone did not ensure victory; it was their employment which gave one an edge in wars. “Be it precision guided munition, unmanned aerial vehicles or manpack anti-tank weapons, their deployment in any future war will be as critical as it had been in the past. Technology is a force multiplier, but without innovative deployment, state-of-the-art equipment will be a mere display,” he added.

Releases book

On the occasion, Mr. Singh released a book titled ‘Indo-Pak war 1971 — reminiscences of air warriors’, a compilation of 50 articles penned by veterans narrating their experiences, edited by Air Marshal Jagjeet Singh and Group Captain Shailendra Mohan.

Mr. Singh paid tributes to Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal who was the Vice Chief of the Air Staff during the 1965 war and had served as the 7th Air Chief during the 1971 war. He was commissioned into the IAF in 1939.

ACM P.C. Lal was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during the Burma Campaign in World War II. He also worked as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in 1966 and after his retirement in 1973, he was appointed the CMD of Indian Airlines and later Chairman of Air India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 for his contributions during the two wars.

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