AHMEDABAD: Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane on Saturday said as far as design and innovation in the fields of defence and aerospace is concerned, the future is “electric” and “miniaturisation.
” He said that in order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels there is a need to use “electric-based things”, and added that ships and aircraft have to be small out of necessity, in which more features need to be packed. He was delivering the inaugural address at the three-day Ahmedabad Design Week organised at city’s Karnavati University.
“What is the future as far as design and innovation are concerned in the fields of defence and aerospace? In this, I think there are two things we have to concentrate upon. One is, the future is electric,” he said.
He said apart from electric vehicles (EV), for which the Centre has made a clear roadmap, there is a need to use “electric-based things” that are not dependent on fossil fuel.
“We have thousands of generators in forward areas, because there is no electricity supply there. These generators require fuel, and to transport the fuel you require vehicles, that has its cost. To generate one unit of electricity in forward areas, you spend 15 times the cost. Can we have some alternative which can generate electricity in forward areas that are not dependent on fossil fuels?” he asked. “Future is also in miniaturisation. Size of our ships, aircraft have to be small out of necessity, and in that small space we have to pack more and more features. And therefore, miniaturisation is one area in which we have to proceed,” he said.
He further called for the need to have a far-sighted development and cited the example of tanks that have remained essentially the same all these years.
“When we now talk of design and innovation, we have to leapfrog, jump two-three steps ahead. From a caterpillar, we have to become a butterfly. That is the kind of innovation and design that we are looking at,” he said. General Naravane said the Indian Army has set up an Army Design Bureau to act as a facilitator between the designer and Army.
“We need your help to make ourselves into a strong Army,” he said, and added the scheme is meant to provide support to start-ups and MSMEs. The Army has sought ideas under the programme called ‘Future Ready Combat Vehicle’.
“The challenge is how we can make a tank, which is radically different from what we have been used to,” he said. He said the Army requires design for the future-ready combat vehicles that remain effective 50 years from now.