Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday said India’s adversaries were modernising their militaries at a swift pace while the country was lagging slightly on that front, calling for concerted capability building of the armed forces to address national security challenges amid a lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
Speaking at an event to mark 25 years of army-industry partnership, the army chief said equipping the military with locally-produced weapons and systems was critical to meet national security challenges but indigenous development alone was not enough to plug existing operational voids because of challenges relating to niche technology and manufacturing capability.
“There may be some inescapable need for a certain percentage of imports. One cannot afford to have operational voids when the enemy is at the gate,” Naravane said. He said dependence on imported military hardware could create vulnerabilities during a crisis, and self-reliance in the defence sector was a “strategic necessity.”
“It is imperative for us to invest in building long-term indigenous capabilities for application across the entire spectrum of conflict,” he said.