The Navy, which has made significant progress in indigenous design of warships, should now focus on design and development of armaments, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday after virtually launching the Indian Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO).
“The NIIO puts in place dedicated structures for the end users to interact with academia and industry towards fostering innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence in keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” the Navy said in a statement.
The NIIO is a three-tiered organisation. The Naval Technology Acceleration Council (N-TAC) will bring together the twin aspects of innovation and indigenisation and provide apex level directives. A working group under the N-TAC will implement the projects. A Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC) has also been created for induction of emerging disruptive technology in an accelerated time frame, the Navy stated.
The Navy has an in-house design bureau, which, over the years, has made significant progress in designing the ‘float’ component, and made some progress in the ‘move’ component, which is propulsion. However, there is heavy reliance on imports for armaments, called the ‘fight’ component.
Ships of all sizes
Vice Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar said that over 130 ships of all sizes and types had been designed in-house, from small boats to the aircraft carrier under construction at Kochi. “Every type of ship and submarine is now built in Indian shipyards, including nuclear submarines. In the last five years, over 70% of our capital budget has been spent on Indian vendors,” he stated.
During the launch event, the Navy signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority, Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat; Maker Village, Kochi; and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).