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Editorial Nov-Dec 2018

Defence deals are complex, the mud-slinging and the deliberate embroiled  controversies generated by  inimical forces encouraged by paid sources makes them more complex. Such controversies in the past had no tangible political corrective measures or fixing accountability rather than complicating the process by coercing the decision makers even for future procurement thus jeopradising defence capabilities. They tend to forget that the offset obligations of the OEMs will assist Indian defence industry in creating an eco-system, supporting indigenous capabilities through manufacturing skill sets, processes, technology, and integration and test techniques and thus be part of global supply chain. Any sensible Indian can make out that the recent issues raised have a political tone for gains before the upcoming elections. It makes little sense to politicise defence purchases, even less sense to allow commercial rivalry to vitiate such deals.

Such crisis may be an opportunity to change. Indian defence industry which was so far dominated by under-performing Govt sector, made breakthrough in defence Artillery Gun system with the participation of private sector. The advances made by India in the field of Space and indigenous missile programmes are benchmark for technological excellence for other sectors. The achievements are genuinely praiseworthy and hopefully the similar efforts in other related sectors in Land, Aero and Naval will have a cascading effect.

The Indo Japanese strategic cooperation in their respective Indo-Pacific region besides special strategic and global partnership between the two countries on security cooperation is a welcome step. The military operational and logistics imperatives will drive India to continue importing defence equipment and hardware from Russia in the coming years. Need of the hour is the Russian industry  work with the Indian  private sector, sharing original design details and drawings of Russian equipment .

Changing Contours of Internal Security are getting more complex and some of the factors are undesirable developments, which have a grave potential and biggest concern directly affecting national security. Hence the domain will require more focused attention.

Advances in Artificial Intelligence   and UAV sector adds up as force multipliers, a critical element of India's National Security Strategy.  The startups are capable to provide a low cost alternate through creative use of technology and hence more relevant for Make -II process.

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