Navy's Mantra Towards Building a Force of the Future: Vice Admiral Deshpande

Issue: 2 / 2017By Neetu DhuliaPhoto(s): By FICCI

The Indian Navy is working relentlessly towards transforming its shipbuilding, aviation and underwater capabilities by building new generation vessels by leveraging the technology and research as force multipliers. To this end, the Navy is emphasising on indigenisation and had identified areas for cooperation while actively seeking the involvement and participation of industry, academia and research laboratories.

This was stated by Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande, AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), Indian Navy, at a curtainraiser on FICCI’s international seminar on ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’, to be held from May 31-June 1, 2017, in New Delhi. The seminar would provide a common platform to explore and debate on disruptive technologies and its doctrinal impact in shaping the future of the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral Deshpande said that the Indian Navy has been at the vanguard in promoting indigenous design and construction of warships and equipment for many years. The process of achieving selfreliance in the Navy is extremely complex and it requires active participation from many stakeholders across industries, both private and public, academia, R&D establishments, etc. He added that an increasingly complex and volatile maritime security landscape requires development of technologies that can fulfill the requirements of the nation indigenously. He mentioned that in this regard the Navy has taken a quantum jump with respect to the technologies and the platform being inducted in its fleet over the years. He said that the Navy is open to experimentation and R&D before embracing the technology. The plans of the Navy align well with the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ programme, which is enabling it to take bold decisions and collaborative approaches.

Vice Admiral Deshpande said that India aims to emerge as a defence manufacturing hub in future; thus the Navy seeks the support of industry, researchers, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and government organisations. He added that proactive government policies aimed at easing business rules would help forge a collaborative environment.

Mentioning about the status of some of the large programmes in the pipeline, he shared that if all goes well, then the Navy is expected to close the landing platform docks (LPD) contract by end of this year.

On the occasion, Vice Admiral Deshpande released a brochure on the international seminar on ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’. In his presentation on the theme of the seminar, Cmde Sujeet Samaddar, NM (Retd), Honorary Advisor-Defence & Aerospace, FICCI, said that a disruptive technology changes the dynamics of competition in ways that are revolutionary, profound and unexpected. The seminar, he added, would focus on such technologies and would have dedicated sessions, which would deliberate on IDDM: Potential Projects for the Indian Industry, Modern Trends in Maritime Communications, Cyber Space Operations and Information Warfare, Shipborne Propulsion and Power Generation, Missiles, Underwater and Directed Energy Weapons, ‘Make in India’ Opportunities for Coastal States, Surveillance and Detection Systems, Transformation in Naval Aviation Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for the Aerospace Industry, Disruptive Technologies, Warship Building in India and Building India’s Future Navy: Realising the ‘Make in India’ Initiative.

EXCLUSIVE

Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of SP’s Naval Forces spoke to Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), Indian Navy, at the curtain-raiser on international seminar on ‘Building India’s Future Navy: Technology Imperatives.’ The questions were based on the push which is expected to help the fast-tracking process of modernisation out of the Indian Government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’.

Jayant Baranwal (JB): Can you share what is the status of landing platform docks (LPD) project?

Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande (Deshpande): The situation now is way ahead for the landing platform docks. The decision is to be taken by the Ministry and we are likely to sign the contract by the end of this year.

JB: How is the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-II (IAC-II) progressing?

Deshpande: We will be shortly interacting and finalising on the type of the IAC-II — exact tonnage, type of propulsion, and other design aspects. Post internal discussions, we will take it to the Ministry. This is a high-ticketed item and requires positivity from the government and the Navy.

JB: How about the status of Project 75I?

Deshpande: Project 75I is linked with the strategic partnership model and hinges on guidelines under the new DPP. The submarines are badly needed. If this model doesn’t work then plan B gets into action and we will have to look elsewhere.

JB: You spoke about the ease of business rules. What does that signify?

Deshpande: We are looking at gaining self-reliance, that’s the foremost. The FDI limits have also been raised and we are in talks with the government to facilitate the ease of business environment further.