Indian Navy will become ‘aatmanirbhar’ by 2047: Admiral R Hari Kumar

Indian Navy will become “aatmanirbhar” (self-reliant) by 2047, Admiral R Hari Kumar said and also appealed to industry for help in achieving this goal.

He said self-reliance meant manufacturing every ship, submarine, aircraft, and weapon system in India.

“The Indian navy is committed to achieving aatma-nirbharta and we have promised the national leadership that we will become completely aatma-nirbhar by 2047, and for that, we will require the help of industry,” said the chief of naval staff.

He was speaking after inaugurating a manufacturing plant of Nibe Defence and Aerospace, an MSME working on various defence projects, in Chakan. Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, was also present.

This facility is strengthening our ability to make our own weapon system in the country in line with the national vision for self-reliance, the Navy chief said.

“Becoming ‘aatmanirbhar’ by 2047 means that every ship, submarine, aircraft, and weapon system will be made in India,” Admiral Hari Kumar said.

On the occasion, he informed about various levels of self-reliance attained in the defence ship sector.

“A ship has three components – float, move, and fight. In the float component, we have achieved almost 95 per cent (self-reliance).

In the ‘move’ component, we are somewhere at 65 per cent and in the ‘fight’ component, we are at 55 per cent.

“A lot of thrust has been given to the move and fight components, which means all our weapons, weapon systems, sensors, radars, missile launchers, missiles…all these need to be made in India and a lot of work is being done in that direction,” the Navy chief said.

Making all these weapon systems in India is not merely an economic necessity but a need for the strategic autonomy of the country, the Admiral added.

He said the Indian Navy is supporting MSMEs, and particularly in Nibe Ltd’s case, they are making the Brahmos launchers for ships.

“The Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) had organised a webinar in which we gave challenges to propose Navy technology.

The Navy filtered over 300 proposals out of more than 1,100 received from MSMEs,” Admiral Hari Kumar said.

He said about 518 contracts were signed and more are in the pipeline.

“Some technologies are unique and have proven game-changers for us. It gives us the strategic autonomy that we require in times of conflict,” the Navy chief added.

Admiral Hari Kumar also spoke about the funding challenge for MSMEs and the suggestion to set up a strategic development bank in the country.

“The issue was raised with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance.

It is recommended to the government to have a dedicated vertical in the bank to look after the requirements of MSMEs working in the field of defence,” the Navy chief added.

Nibe Defence and Aerospace is a state-of-the-art facility with a robust production capacity, dedicated to the production of a comprehensive array of critical sub-systems to meet the evolving needs of the defence industry, as per a release.

Balakrishnan Swamy, CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Nibe Limited, said they are elated to unveil the new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, which signifies the company’s unwavering commitment to fostering innovation in the defence industry.

“Our ultimate goal is to make the Indian defence sector aatmanirbhar and amplify entrepreneurship in the industry,” he added.

The facility features 16m, and 12m Vertical Machining Centres (VMC). The plant extends support to indigenous modular bridges, the sarvatra bridge system, missile launcher system components fabrication, precision machining, and the manufacturing of EVs.

MoS Bhatt said the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resulted in the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the country for the production of defence-related items.

He emphasised that the government is keen on ‘aatmanirbharata’ in the defence production sector.

“With the formation of defence PSUs, the competition has increased which will be beneficial for procuring quality material,” Bhatt said.

“Earlier we used to buy arms and ammunition from other countries but now with the development of various indigenous projects, institutions like HAL, DRDO etc, have become significant worldwide,” he added.

Bhatt also recalled the historic contribution of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of his birth anniversary and paid tributes.