10 May : Army Chief General V K Singh has sought greater interaction among the armed forces, DRDO and industry to help produce better missiles and rockets to meet the country’s artillery firepower needs.
“The user, the developer and the producer form a triad. Army is the user, which comes up with its operational requirements. The developer is the DRDO, which has made fair progress on Pinaka and Brahmos artillery systems. Industry is the producer. Great amount of interaction is required among the three, so we get better artillery for the armed forces,” Singh said in New Delhi on Monday.
Describing artillery as the “decisive arm” in a battlefield, he told a CII-organised seminar on artillery that its role was proved beyond doubt in the US war in Iraq and in the Kargil war a decade ago.
“Right from days of yore, artillery has always been a decisive arm. It is the artillery which has brought in devastating firepower to break the will of the enemy, whether it was in the days of the Moguls or it is today,” he said.
“The developments in missile technology, guidance system and transparency in battlefield has made a person sitting on target the most vulnerable. This has been amply proved in the two Gulf wars and in the Indian context during the 1999 Kargil episode, where artillery was battle-winning factor in ensuring that the will of the enemy was seriously degraded,” he said.
Noting that the emerging trend in artillery firepower deployment was “synergising and orchestration” of all resources towards degradation and destruction of the enemy, he said it reduced the enemy’s fighting capability, making it easier to break its cohesion and ultimately his will to fight.
Pointing out that the battlefield environment in our subcontinent was changing; the Army Chief said the armed forces had to look at the “hybrid threats” that were coming up beyond the conventional threats.
“We have to look how we are going to employ our resources to counter the battlefield spectrum…they start something that is insignificant and go on to something that is larger,” he said, obviously referring to use of terrorism.
Singh said the Army has already inducted BrahMos cruise missiles, Russian-made Smerch, and Pinaka artillery systems and had achieved a “fair amount of long-range destruction capability.”
He said battlefield transparency was a factor assisting the artillery in ensuring it achieved the desired results.
The introduction of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, long range reconnaissance and surveillance radars, and weapon locating radars, along with better and more accurate surveillance systems had ensured much better networking.
“Hence, artillery should be able to bring down firepower from all possible resources on to a single target,” he said.
Noting that there were problems in imports that needed to be ironed out, Singh favoured large scale indigenisation so as to overcome the difficulties of technology denial regimes.