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Speed up development of defence systems: Vice-Admiral Damle

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Vice-Admiral Sunil K. Damle
Vice-Admiral Sunil K. Damle

Staff Reporter

Kochi: Vice-Admiral Sunil K. Damle, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command, has called upon defence scientists to find ways to reduce timeline for development and induction of equipment.

“In these supercharged times, obsolescence in technology takes place at unimaginable speeds. By the time the design gets translated into a useful product in operation, the technology becomes obsolete affecting the maintainability of the system,” he said after inaugurating a two-day national symposium on Towed Array Sonar Systems: Engineering and Technology (TASSET 2008) organised as part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) golden jubilee at the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) here on Friday.

Admiral Damle, however, pointed out that almost 60 to 70 per cent of naval equipment were sourced from indigenous sources. “The road to self-reliance has been strewn with obstacles but close cooperation and interaction between the designing agencies and the user has successfully overcome all the hurdles,” he said highlighting the contribution of NPOL and the Bharat Electronics (BE), which have done “ground breaking work” in the field of in-house sonar capability development.

“The development of APSOH (Advanced Panoramic Sonar Hull Mounted) in the 1980s was a truly historic event and today our indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) programme is at a critical stage…. We have experienced the euphoria of early success followed by the heartbreak of subsequent delays and difficulties but the focus of the navy and the DRDO has been unwavering. Our hull-sonar programme has stabilised and evolved over the years. However, progress on development of our own low frequency sonar has been relatively slow by comparison and it is here that the challenge of the future truly lies,” said Admiral Damle.

DRDO Chief Controller (Research and Development) and Brahmos CEO A. Sivathanu Pillai, in his keynote address on acoustic warfare, said the ASW was perhaps the most challenging and the most fascinating because of the medium of operation, the ocean.

“The future war is more about intelligent and autonomous systems and only self-reliance will help anybody win it,” he said.

Earlier, NPOL Director S. Ananthanarayanan welcomed the gathering.

Scientist A. Unnikrishnan presented a symposium overview. Bharat Electronics Director H.S. Bhadoria offered felicitation and scientist R.R. Rao proposed a vote of thanks.

An exhibition of defence equipment by Keltron, BE, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), National Instruments and Sika Interplant Systems was arranged as part of the symposium.

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