Atmanirbharta Is Strategic Necessity Today, Says IAF Chief
Terming ‘self-reliance’ as a strategic necessity in today’s times, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Wednesday said that no other weapon system or power is as potent as the aerospace sector, further expressing the need to energise the sector. He also emphasised that ‘Atmanirbharta’ has to become our strongest power. The IAF chief stated that although the aerospace sector is time-consuming and requires a large budget, at the same time the returns on becoming Atmanirbhar in the sector are the maximum.
“Atmanirbharta is a strategic necessity today. It is most time-consuming and requires a budget in the aerospace sector. But once you get it right, the returns on becoming Atmanirbhar in the sector are the maximum,” said the IAF chief addressing a conference here today. Emphasising that India’s self-reliance in the defence sector is crucial for dealing with the various challenges, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the IAF is looking at procuring around 350 aircraft from within the country in the next two decades.
He also expressed the need for developing asymmetric capabilities to boost the IAF’s overall strength in view of challenges from China. He said, “Looking at the northern neighbour, we have to have niche technologies which must be built in-house by our own industry for security reasons.” “There are areas of indigenous industry where very good progress has taken place. The most critical is our effort towards Research and Development and how much we will devote there. The major advantage of doing indigenous development is very very important. This is an area that needs focus straight away,” added the IAF chief.