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Armed forces aim at niche technology

Armed forces aim at niche technology

IAF’s EMB-145, Su-30 and MIG-29 aircraft during a rehearsal at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru. PTI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18

After getting indigenous hardware such as warships, artillery guns and planes, the Indian armed forces are now looking at the domestic industry for niche technology solutions and bridge the gap of getting spares from Russia.

Mission tech

  • The Army is looking at domains such as surveillance, drones, sensors, AI, robotics, quantum technology and smart ammunition
  • The IAF is looking to overhaul engines of the Mi-17 helicopter fleet, engines of the MiG-29 jets and AN-32 transport plane

The Army is looking at 110 issues, for which it has asked Indian startups to provide solutions. These issues are part of the “challenges” under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative launched by the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).

The Army is looking at domains such as surveillance, drones, sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, quantum technology and smart ammunition.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande told the media on the sidelines of Aero India-2023 (February 13 to 17): “A few AI projects are underway and are needed to better interpret satellite images. Getting information is not a challenge. AI is needed to interpret two sets of images and various inputs from sensors.” The Army Chief spoke about electronic warfare (EW), saying “we now have EW brigades and battalions which use the latest equipment”.

“Radars for North-East are being tested. These will be integrated with the EW systems,” the Chief had said.

The IAF has sought an expression of interest from the domestic industry to overhaul engines of the Russian-origin Mi-17 helicopter fleet, engines of the MiG-29 jets and AN-32 transport plane. The Navy is looking at autonomous boats. The DIO under the Ministry of Defence has signed MoUs with the ISRO, IN-SPACe and ISpA to further strengthen the defence space agency.

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