Gen. Naravane says no one should make the mistake of testing India’s patience
The “unilateral conspiracy” by China to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh last year was given a “befitting reply” and “no one should make the mistake of testing our patience,” said Army Chief General Manoj Naravane on Friday.
In a first, during the Army Day Parade, the Army carried out a live demonstration of ‘drone swarming’ capability using 75 indigenously designed and developed drones which executed an array of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks.
Paying homage to the Army personnel who lost their lives in the violent clash at Galwan, Gen. Naravane said their sacrifice “will not go waste.” “We are committed to resolving disputes through dialogue and political process, but no one should make the mistake of testing our patience,” he said in the customary address at Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment on Army Day.
Gen. Naravane awarded 15 Sena Medals, including five posthumously, for individual acts of gallantry, and 23 Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Unit Citations to various units.
On military modernisation, Gen. Naravane said 38 deals were made through ‘emergency and fast track’ route worth about ₹5,000 crore. In addition, capital procurements worth ₹13,000 crore were also concluded last year.
The procurements include light machine guns, light special vehicles and protective gear for infantry, infantry combat vehicles for mechanised infantry and long range vectors for artillery and also equipment for Engineers and Signals regiments.
An Army statement said the demonstration was a recognition of the Army’s steady embrace of emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from a manpower intensive to a technology enabled force to meet future security challenges. The swarm drone technology was developed by Indian start-up, NewSpace Research & Technologies.
“The Army is investing heavily into AI, autonomous weapon systems, quantum technologies, robotics, cloud computing and algorithm warfare in order to achieve a convergence between the Army’s war fighting philosophies and military attributes of these technologies,” it said.
On the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, Gen. Naravane said around 300 to 400 terrorists were waiting at launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to cross the LoC. Stating that there had been a 40% increase in ceasefire violations, he said there had been attempts to smuggle weapons using drones and tunnels. On the northeast, he said over 600 insurgents had surrendered last year and joint operations with Myanmar against insurgent groups had been successful.