Mumbai: Weeks after the Pathankot attack created a debate on security, deputy chief of army staff Lt Gen Subrata Saha on Tuesday said he is not in favour of floodlighting the borders and would prefer neutralising the infiltrators in the dark using latest technology.
“The constant debate is — should we light up the fence or keep it dark. If you light it up, you discourage the fellow who is infiltrating but if you keep it dark and exploit technology, you are able to eliminate that fellow,” Lt Gen Saha told an industry gathering at the Make in India week here.
“And if you ask me, it is better to eliminate than discourage,” he added.
Lt Gen Saha said he was posted as the corps commander in Kashmir before the current assignment and clarified that he is only presenting the army’s need so that the industry can develop capabilities.
The comments come over a month after the Pathankot attack in which six militants attacked the air force station resulting in deaths of seven security personnel.
Lt Gen Saha said the army was looking at capability development and modernisation and broadly divides its requirements into two categories — hi-tech, involving bigger expenditure, and smaller requirements.
In hi-tech, it has requirements for items like infantry combat vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and latest helicopters, he said.
Highlighting a potential opportunity for smaller businesses, Lt Gen Saha said 42 per cent of the contracts on equipment are under Rs 150 crore.
He said issues like Jammu and Kashmir, insurgency in some northeastern states and sporadic attacks like the one at Pathankot require it to be prepared for all eventualities.
Lt Gen Saha said the army would be holding road shows across the industrial hubs in the country to impress its requirements, so that the entrepreneurs can take advantage of the opportunities.