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Indian Army procuring lighter munitions, drones for precision targeting of enemy targets: Gen Manoj Pande

New Delhi: Recent conflicts especially the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict have brought certain key indicators that enable us to appreciate the contemporary character of war and also the relevance of firepower in accruing a decisive advantage on the battlefield, said Army Chief General Manoj Pande said on Tuesday in the national capital.

He was speaking during on "General SF Rodrigues Memorial Lecture” in Manekshaw Centre today, in memory of Late General Sunith Francis Rodrigues, the former Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and Governor of Punjab on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The event was attended by senior Army officers and veterans.
He said that the subject of the talk today is the 'changing character of war and a very relevant one.' Taking a cue from some of the key lessons that continue to emerge from this conflict.

Another important issue is the primacy of technology in the modern battlefield, which has been amply demonstrated in this conflict or natural fallout. Therefore, points towards infusing leaf technologies into our warfighting systems, he said.

"Our current inventory is not an ideal mix of the vintage, current, and the state of the art system or the ratio between the three. Modernization or replacement of all is neither feasible nor desired at once. So we need to space out or upgrade new procurements as far as evolving indigenous capacities while retaining a fine balance between the old and the new," said Gen Pande.

"We have seen how long-range precision fires have proved that distance does not necessarily guarantee safety. This also has created a dilemma of massing formations," he added.
"We've also witnessed the use of low-cost options to neutralise high-value platforms. The proliferation of airspace by manned and unmanned systems further lends avenues for precision targeting. In our context, as I mentioned, we are procuring lighter munition and drones to give affect precision targeting in the tactical battle area" he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Army Chief reminded the audience of the major initiatives undertaken by Gen Rodrigues as the Army Chief. He highlighted that the induction of Women Officers in streams other than the Medical Corps, commenced for the first time in 1992 when General Rodrigues was the COAS.

"Last but not the least, in the aspect of support from our strategic partners. The support for the war effort that Ukraine has received has indeed been a game changer as we have seen. However, in our context, we need to be clear The strategic partnership with nations notwithstanding their core interests, in some cases may inhibit active military support to us during our conflict with adversaries. And this necessitates India to be self-reliant in our needs to protect our national interests are capable capability development endeavours stand committed to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant)," he said.

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