In launching the Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialisation Programme on 23 Jul 2020, India and Russia have put yet one more pillar of power of their particular relationship which is now in its 73rd yr and searching up.
This article takes a whirlwind view of the primary highlights of the Indo-Russian relationship and examines what might be the potential take methods for India within the defence sector within the newest Programme launched on 23 Jul 2020.
A Solid Relationship
Establishing diplomatic relations with India, even previous to its independence (13 Apr 1947), the Indo-USSR and now Indo-Russian relationship have stood the check of time.
Soviet Union had a cardinal position in setting the foundations of Indian industrial base. Eight of India’s 16 heavy business within the interval 1956-61 have been constructed with Soviet assist. Name a sector; Steel/metallurgy – Plants in Bhilai, Duragapur , Rourkela, Bokaro, Vizag. Mining – Durgapur, Thermal energy – Neyveli (TN), Electro mechanical advanced – Kobra (Chhattisgarh), Antibiotic pant – Rishikesh (UK), Pharmaceuticals – Hyderabad. R&D – IIT Mumbai, Space-Aryabhatta, Atomic power – Kudankulam (TN)…The listing can go on.
During the Indo-China struggle of 1962, USSR remained impartial all through the border battle. With an preliminary transient tilt in direction of China it adopted by open help for India. . In 1971 the 2 international locations signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendships and Co-operation that stands until date in its revised model.
In 2000 dawned the period of strategic partnership between the 2 nations that noticed shut coordination the areas of worldwide peace and safety and determination of worldwide and regional points. Bilateral cooperation expanded to areas of oil exploration, photo voltaic power, gasoline and others.
Bilateral optimistic help between two nations noticed an upsurge in worldwide fora a like BRICS, SCO, G 20 and many others. whereas Russia stood up for India be it the everlasting seat in UNSC, or membership of NSG or becoming a member of APEC and many others.
Defence has been a strong platform of mutual help and cooperation within the Indo-Russia relations. Many various kinds of weapon and help programs arrived in India from USSR from early 60s to late 80s on Inter Government agreements.
Later in 2000 two crucial institutional dialogue mechanisms have been arrange. These have been Indo-Russia Inter Governmental Commission or IRIGC for brief. IRIGC had two platforms; IRIGC –TEC coping with technological and cultural Co-operation and IRIGC-MTC coping with army technical cooperation.
Pursued over many a long time on the Inter-Governmental stage and latter by means of the IRIGC route, the us/Russian footprint in our defence stock has grown over time. Starting with MiGs to Sukhois, to kiloclass submarines, Talwar class frigates, T sequence of tanks ( T 72, T 90), multi barrel rocket launchers and virtually 76%of all stock of floor based mostly AD weapon programs ( schilka, Tunguska gun/missiles, Igla MANPAD, SAMs – Strela, OSA, Kvadrat, Pechora,) Smerch rockets…. the listing can go on.
BrahMos has been successful story. More current joint ventures embrace Kamov helicopters and the fifth era fighter plane. The latter nonetheless couldn’t be taken by means of. (particulars not lined) .
The scope of the present programme
The scope of the present programme is such that it partly covers each the domains, specifically, the army technical facets, in addition to, applied sciences within the civil area.
The programme goals to fund joint growth in innovative applied sciences in numerous areas equivalent to info expertise, renewable power, synthetic intelligence, surroundings, aerospace, various applied sciences, new supplies, bio-technology, drones and robotics. This is a big area.
The programme guarantees a funding of as much as 15 Crores to small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in addition to, start-ups to work in direction of joint growth of latest applied sciences and its cross-country adaptation.
The funds will supplied by means of a joint physique made up of DST (Dept of science and expertise, India ) and FASIE (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises, Russia). The plan is to fund as much as 10 entities over a interval of two years. The collection of recipients can be by means of a aggressive course of.
It is a chance for MSMEs and start-ups to seize and benefit from it.
What Technologies to search for?
What might be the area of interest applied sciences the place Russia is sturdy and the place joint R&D can produce very helpful outcomes? Some of those are enumerated
- Russia has developed a powerful technological base in joint missions involving manned and unmanned platforms. Such fight operations go by the identify of Manned and Unmanned Teaming or MUM-T.
In such operations, the human intelligence of a fight pilot, his resolution making functionality and tolerance for ambiguity is paired with the ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’ capabilities of the unmanned programs or UAS.
The unmanned programs carry with them their all-weather, all-terrain operability, lengthy endurance and weapon carriage that may give a run for his or her cash to manned platforms. The mixture of the manned and unmanned subsequently turns into very deadly and potent.
With Apache AH 64 helicopters for the Air pressure already in ( 17/22 delivered by Feb 2020 steadiness shortly) and the Army’s consignment due by 2023, it’s time we begin growing the capabilities of MUM-This space is a distinct segment area of growth which is value taking over in joint R&D with the Russians.
- Another space of joint R&D is synthetic intelligence in its software within the swarm drone expertise. Swarm on this context refers to a physique of various variety of sensible and clever UAS which will be gridded collectively to behave like one integral entire. Such grids have a thoughts of their very own constructed by means of algorithms based mostly on synthetic intelligence. Swarms will be programmed to hold out a mission equivalent to surveillance, preserve watch or precision strike in an autonomous trend.
R&D on this area of interest area can result in product concepts to provide small reasonably priced swarm drones for the Services. This can complement the on-going effort by HAL within the space of swarm drones ( ALFA-S )
- Another space the place Russians have one thing optimistic to contribute and take us ahead by a quantum is the world of anti-stealth expertise.
Stealth can be the secret in the case of futuristic air menace. In reality many of the fashionable fight aircrafts have a powerful stealth functionality ( J 20, Rafael, F22 and many others). Most of our present era radars fall brief in the case of detection of stealthy targets.
An R&D on this area resulting in some new product concepts able to detecting stealth (as an example a compact radar answer in HF/VHF vary or another expertise answer and many others.) may result in product thought in a timeframe.
- India is at the moment on the cusp of growing soft-kill weapons. Some laser-based weapons stand realised whereas those based mostly on different delicate kill methods like charged particle beam or excessive energy microwave and many others. are on the drafting board. This might be one other space of potential R&D.
- Ground Based Air Defence Weapon Systems or GBADWS for brief have all the time been the sturdy level with Russia. Some of their weapons have been world leaders over time. For occasion, the Schilka self-propelled system has been as ageless as the long-lasting MiG 21 platform. Then there’s a entire spectrum of SAMs (Igla, strela, OSA AK, Kvadrat) . The S 400 air defence and anti-missile system has been grabbing the limelight in current previous.
In the sphere of GBADWS whereas entire weapon concepts are past the scope of R&D beneath the present programme, some area of interest applied sciences might be appeared into. While a few of these have been listed within the IDS expertise roadmap, extra will be finalised in energetic session with the customers.
On space that involves thoughts is energetic seeker expertise or electro-optical monitoring system . R&D in these areas might be very rewarding.
Others may embrace state-of-the-art communication programs, information processing programs, digital warfare programs, sensible and clever simulators based mostly on synthetic intelligence and making use of digital or augmented actuality and many others.
The goal of placing down this symbolic listing is to drive residence the purpose how the present programme is one other pillar of power within the already sturdy edifice of Indo-Russian relations.
That India and Russia will make finest use of the chance, is the hope of the writer.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the writer’s personal.