Possible Solution to Indian Defence Industry: Learn from history

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    For about three decades India has been struggling with design and development of defence products. The success record is patchy. Below par products, budget overruns and more importantly time overruns.

    India for a better part of the three decades was under international technology denial regime. Considering that, we can say that a lot has been achieved. But for a country like India it clearly isn't enough.-

    After the second world war both the Soviets and the US managed to get hold of a lot of German technology and more importantly, the top scientists. Wernher von Braun was one such prized catch for the US. The father of the Vengeance missiles of Nazi Germany better known as V1 and the V2. Von Braun moved to the US and produced rockets that resulted in the US putting man on the moon. This is but just one example. Under operation Paperclip, the US got hundreds of Nazi German scientists, engineers and technicians. Similarly the Soviets had their own-Operation Osoaviakhim. The soviets and the Americans got a massive amount of -brainpower to develop next generation of weapons. The money they had was invested well in R&D.-

    America as a free country continued to attract intelligent people from across the world who work in the various fields directly or indirectly linked to the defence industry.

    Well India didn't have any such luxury as India was under the British and after independence, india mounted its own indigenous programs in various fields -including nuclear, missile,space technology as well as other weapons system. Like is said some successful and some not so successful.

    However the most important lesson for India is what happened in late 1950s. Kurt Tank arrived in India and India produced its first fighter aircraft the HF24 Marut. International sanctions hurt the project that it didn't get proper engine, but there in lies India's solution. Hire brains from around the world. For the better part of the last 10 years, India has been signing up projects with ToT with foreign partners. Now the focus has moved to joint ventures. But what India has to continue to endeavor is indigenous R & D and weapons development. India has been spending top dollars on foreign weapons system. Indian research and local talent pool has not been good enough to quickly give what India needs. India would do well to use the huge amount it spends on defence to seek and hire foreign scientist, engineers and technicians to work in India giving them more than a mouthful of money and also make R&D centers for them based on what they need. India had and probably still has te opportunity to get Soviet/Russian minds who are now idle because of the problems in Russia. India could also target it's own expat crowd working in the US in particular by offering top dollars as well as recruit and retain best Indian minds with monetary incentives. -Even retired scientists from abroad could be brought in as consultants.

    The Russians could come in handy to develop tanks, fighters and more importantly engines.-

    India needs more Kurt Tanks to fast forward it's indigenous defence industry. Particularly as its principle rival China marches ahead.
     
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  3. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    First you need to get coherent policy for that you need people with military knowledge and not bureaucrats.
    For eg the other day I was watching one video how to streamline defence procurements guess who was explaining this it was Manish Tewari (yes the Congress clown)
     
  4. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    1) Indian talent pool is good enough. The exams they have to clear are amongst the toughest.

    Considering when the IGDMP was started in 1983, we have done more than well in the Ballistic Missile department. Within a short period of time we have achieved more than what other countries could even dream of. Consider what N.K and Pak have done so far? Consider what US and Russians had in the 60's. And not to forget spending, we all know what India defense research expenditure is.

    2) The bundling ToT issue.

    Will foreign companies be willing to transfer technology know how to other countries. They would have spent so much in order to develop such technologies. It is going to be interesting to see how they will part with intellectual rights.
    Case in example, Indians were assembling Mig 21's for quite some time, were they able to develop some aircraft with that?
    Su 30 Mki is also manufactured in India. However, we felt the immediate need for Rafales and in no stage to press for LCA.
    Many countries were also assembling or license producing planes, including turkey and Israel. With the exception of Israel which required American investment, no other country was able to develop it.

    China is an exception, as military sales to China is under curtains they have no other go and rely on indigenous weapons.

    3) DRDO has been blamed for everything. Yes they have failed in some cases, yes they have delayed in some cases, but still they have delivered.

    Take the INSAS for example, the quality of the gun was blamed, the plastic was blamed. However it is the OFB that produces the gun, not mention Nilkamal which produces the plastic. So we all know were part of the blame goes.
     
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  5. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    Possible solutions. Open to discussion.

    1) Invest in the research for high expenditure and critical equipment like aircrafts, Surface to Air Missiles.
    For example what India is doing with PAKFA. Like what Germany did with Typhoon.

    2) For lower expenditure and non critical equipment like howitzers and helis, a ToT can be sought. Doors to private players can b eopened in these areas.
    But first we must get license production for ammo. It would be like buying a car and not offering gas to the same. I believe we had problems with 155mm ammo and not to mention we developed a 5.56mm gun and had to import ammo for the same :facepalm:

    3) We should seriously consider our existing or pre existing projects, invest in them as Technology Demonstrators. Learn what are their draw backs and try to improvise on the same. For example the knowledge and investment in the Trishul project can be used for other projects as well.
     
  6. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    challenge is identifying the top among them and having flexible management and salary policies to keep them in and keep them working hard for the system ....we thank kurt tank , but those days are over .......today we have our own !
     
  7. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    no one will give Complete TOT, you have learn it yourself. It is big bad world out their. Sooner all of us understand this better it is.
     
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  8. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    The lesson is that you can't develop indeginous high-end weapons without a solid civilian industry basis.
     
  9. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Can you provide the reason with some research linked paper that propounds your statement with "certainty"?
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    He is right. How will manufacture components if you don't have the industries that manufacture them? Te right machineries etc?
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Saya, we will off course develop it indigenously. My idea is to get the best brains to India and have them work here. Across the spectrum.
     
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  12. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    PPP is different from Privatization. PPP can be used as a means of outsourcing State Burden to Private competitors and signing JV's thereafter. The Civilian Industry is of different use in India. Its about Private-Production for Public Consumption. ( here Public is in sense of State consumption) .. I don't see any Civilian use of High-End weapons. Civilians can be a Part of Private-Production but not consumption. (I made a difference in that sense)
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    You know what, even the bolts and nuts for the scorpene submarine have come from France. No Indian manufacturer makes them. I had been to Mazgaon docks for some other products and this is what I learned.Manufacturing bolts and nuts don't require fancy PPP projects.
     
  14. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    yeah look at Pakistan.
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India can and should scout for people in Russia, East European countries like Poland, Check republic, Ukraine as well as see if we can get Germans. Ritired people as consultants from the US etc.
     
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  16. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    @Yusuf

    Let us start from before the end of WWII. The Western World had fought one WW before and used that experience to develop improved weaponry, be it tanks, aircraft or battleships. During WW2, designs were produced every day and all the countries' factories were churning out weapons only, and the process was that a design was baptized through a trial by fire. Bad designs were discarded and good designs were further improved, the key being them being used in actual combat which brought out all drawbacks very fast. Companies like Lockheed, Boeing, Ilyushin, Tupolev and Mig got their hands on experience right from before the war. The shipyards gained valuable experience designing ships one after the other. The German scientific and military industrial exodus after WW 2 certainly didn't go to waste either as the Germans had the best engineers and designers. Heck, if Germany did not get involved in Russia, it may have been able to produce the nuke before America (the American program at Los Alamos started only after the US knew how close the the Germans were to the first A bomb).

    When we look at India, it is clear that there was no military industrial base when the English left. Whatever is present has been set up by us. It is expected that the industry will take time to mature. Israel was also in a similar state as India in 1947 but they benefited from a lot of expatriate help in scientific know how as well as funding. Moreover, in all wars Israel was involved in, the question was about its existence and survival and it was either improve or perish. The industry there was able to use the experience from their wars and improve the equipment as per their own needs.
    Here lies India's fallacy. Right from the onset, we did not go in for indigenous development and to the congress governments in power, populist schemes and peaceful stance was more important than investing in military R & D. We started to concentrate on indigenous efforts only after sanctions were imposed on us. Even then, state control, red tape, corruption and bureaucracy throttled our efforts.

    Even after that, there has been limited real time experience for our indigenous platforms and even the Armed Forces are now used to go in for proven foreign platforms. My point in case here is that all the foreign vendors benefited from real world experience, which is a primary requirement for any improvement in designing and R & D. I think that the Indian Armed Forces should support the military industrial complex and should go in for limited series induction if the product is not mature enough. Unless the equipment is tested in the field, one cannot improve a product on theory only.
     
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  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    To be fair to the Nehru led congress, he did start indigenous efforts to make an MIL. Nuclear field is one example. Its not that we have not attempted at indigenous weapons production, but we have fallen short.

    My contention is to spend top $$$ and get an army of scientists, technicians, engineers.
     
  18. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I dont think lack of money is the real problem here.

    IMO realistic goals, better project management, long term goal for defence industry, close cooperation between end users and defence industry are the real issues.
     
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  19. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    Point in case is our auto mobile industry, especially two wheeler industry.

    It started with outside help, like Kawasaki Bajaj and Hero Honda. However we have Hero and Bajaj now.

    Maybe there is some thing we can learn from them.
     
  20. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    That is why India failed its defence industry.

    On one hand, civilian industry can enlarge the research and manufuctruring basis for defence industry. Today, there are lots of new idea, technology coming from civilian industry. And more importantly, civilian industry provide the highly experienced talents to defence industry from research to project management.

    On the other hand, civilian industry is one of the few ways that defence industry can make profit by turn their research into product of people's daily life. Yes, civilian don'ts use high-end weapons, but they use the technology coming from weapon develop: for example, internet was the result of US military research for nuclear war and Boeing's engine is sharing the same core part with US fighters.
     
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