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'Tech Symposium to identify new defence tech for Northern Command'

UDHAMPUR (PTI): The Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said that two-day tech symposium in Udhampur from Friday will pave the way to identify suitable technologies and products for subsequent trials and induction into armed forces operating in Northern Command.

Over 160 top companies will be showcasing their products in defence, surveillance and security sectors at the North Tech Symposium to be held at Udhampur from May 6 to enhance the ‘Atmanirbhharta’ drive of the Indian Government in defence technology.

Northern Tech Symposium 2022 is being organised on May 6 and 7 at Udhampur by the Indian Army at Northern Command in its bid to promote ‘Make in India' initiative in defence technology, Northern Command defence spokesperson Col Abhinav Navneet said.

The Northern Command will be looking for drone and anti-drone technology, robotics and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, fire power, security solutions, disruptive technologies, individual force protection and habitat and medical innovations in this tech symposium, Lt Gen Dwivedi said.

"The symposium will pave the way to identify suitable technologies and products for subsequent trials and induction into Northern Command, as also facilitate defence industry interface with the field army to orient their products towards specific operational requirements", he said in an interview to PTI on Wednesday.

Asked about the focus of the symposium, he said that it is a unique technology demonstration platform aimed at knowledge diffusion on contemporary military technologies and providing the avenues for procurement.

"The broad theme for the symposium is ‘Raksha Atmanirbharta’ in line with ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Our defence industry has shown remarkable progress in the field of defence manufacturing in past few years and this symposium is a step to give it a further boost", the Army commander said.

He said that close linkages between the armed forces, defence industry and academia will propel the efforts of Raksha Atmanirbharta in the right direction. "The symposium serves to showcase cutting-edge technologies and innovative products providing solutions to complex challenges faced by the Northern Command", he added.

Dwivedi said that it will enable all ranks to enhance their technological knowledge and threshold for conduct of efficient and smooth operational and technological solutions to enhance all-weather surveillance, ensure force protection and develop own firepower and mobility.

"With the rapid transformation of technology in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, the situation demands that the focus of the symposium be also on these shifting trends, in order to achieve cutting edge over our adversaries," he said.

The Army commander said that the Northern Command is the operationally most active command of the Indian Army.

"It is actively facing the challenges on the Western borders along the Line of Control, the Northern borders along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, and is also responsible for the internal security in the hinterland of J-K", he said.

He said that the symposium will help in mutual exchange of ideas between the defence industry and Army with respect to induction of currently available products and sensitise the industry with respect to the future needs.

"Interaction between defence industry and the Army is critical for achieving higher degree of self-reliance. This way, the industry gets to know about the customization needs of the Army", Lt Gen Dwivedi said.

In reply to another question about the types of technology needed for most sensitive northern operation theatre, he said that the Northern Command area of operations being highly varied, poses various challenges to the troops in terms of enhanced fire power, mobility, force protection, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

"Hence, any technological solution or product which can obviate these challenges is welcome. Of particular interest to the Northern Command are drone and anti-drone technology, robotics and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, fire power, security solutions, disruptive technologies, individual force protection and habitat and medical innovations", he added.

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