'India must fight next war with indigenous solutions'
India's armed forces must fight the next war with indigenous solutions, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat said on Monday as he made a strong pitch for developing the domestic defence industry.
The army chief also called for greater synergy between industry and the armed forces to develop quality equipment and military platforms.
"Indian armed forces must fight the next war with indigenous solutions," he said while addressing a seminar organised jointly by the army and the Indian Technical Textile Association.
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani told the gathering that the National Textile Corporation will have a specialised facility to develop clothes and other gear for the armed forces.
"There must be effective engagement between the armed forces and the industry," the army chief added.
He also referred to combat dress and boots being supplied to the US Army by the Indian private sector and said there was a lot of scope for cooperation between the army and the domestic textile industry for developing dress material and other gear for the forces.
"There is huge budget with the Army that has been spent on textiles. It is high time that we look for indigenous solutions," he said.
His comments come two days after the defence ministry broadly finalised a much-awaited policy under which select private firms will be roped in to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign entities.
India is a leading importer of arms and military platforms globally and the current government has been maintaining that indigenisation of defence manufacturing is a priority area. Rawat said discussions at the seminar must not be confined to files and official papers and practical steps must be taken to boost cooperation between the armed forces and the textile industry.
Irani said there must be cohesive alignment of cooperation between the textile industry and the armed forces.