SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After nearly 50 years of the Indian Navy having its own design directorate , Indian Army has finally decided that it cannot forever depend on State-owned Public sector Defence companies for its arms requirements and now plans to design and develop own pieces of machinery, like tanks and guns.
Indian Armies Army Design Bureau (ADB) will be similar to Navy’s Naval Design Bureau (NDB) in concept but Naval Design Bureau does not actually design weapons but weapons systems and platforms like Nuclear Submarines,frigates,destroyers or a Aircraft carrier and procures offensive and defensive weapons and other equipment like engines and auxiliary units either within India or from established weapons manufacturer from around the world .
For Armies Army Design Bureau (ADB) task will be to design and manufacture weapons systems like Assualt Rifles, ammunitions and parts for its Main battle tanks, Infantry support requirements in likes of Bulletproof jackets,communication equipment,clothing materials and smaller firearms.
In short, ADB will face much more challenges than NDB and will require perfect sync with DRDO and ordnance factories to achieve the Army’s modernisation and indigenisation programme and might require separate dedicated funding to develop Research & Development (R&D) to make it a viable Design Bureau which can actually make weapons it long desires for its troops.
Notorious General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) laid down by Army in the weapons systems to be developed in India has been severally criticised by State-owned Public sector Defence companies and International arms manufacurers for setting standards ridiculously so high that many of weapons systems requested and presented for trials fails to meet all requirements and ends up creating a never ending circle of Request for Proposals ,Weapons trials rounds ,bid cancellation and re-issue of Request for Proposals further delaying their procurements .
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar once had said that GSQRs of Army seems like right out of ” Marvel comic Movies “,clearly hinting that technologies requested in Indigenous weapons systems sometimes purely is absurd and not realistic in nature . Challenges for Army will be to Streamline its GSQRs with realistic requirements not favouring any particular weapon system of particularly arms manufacture of its likes.
Army Design Bureau (ADB) sounds good on papers but will need Armies full backing to emerge like Naval Design Bureau (NDB) which in future could design its own frontline weapons like Assualt Rifles,Main Battle Tanks and Armoured Personeel carriers and final break away from foreign arms manufacturers and launch programmes in line with the Make-in-India thrust.
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