On 4th October 2023, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence(MoD), launched Swavlamban 2023 (Swavlamban 2.0), the 2nd edition of the Indian Navy’s Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar, in New Delhi, Delhi. The 2-day seminar was held from 4th to 5th October 2023.
- During the seminar 5th Positive Indigenisation List (5th PIL) of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), MoD comprising 98 items was released.
- defence minister launched the 76 challenges for the industry under the 10th Defence India Start-up Challenges (DISC 10) and DISC 10 PRIME of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX).
- He also launched the Indian Navy’s updated Indigenisation Roadmap ‘Swavlamban 2.0’
Note: Swavlamban, the first edition of the NIIO Seminar was held in July 2022.
Fifth Positive Indigenisation List
The Fifth Positive Indigenisation List was prepared by DMA after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders.
These items will be procured from indigenous sources as per provisions given in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 in the staggered timeline.
- This list focuses on the import substitution of components of major systems besides important platforms, weapon systems & sensors and munitions which are being developed and likely to translate into firm orders in the next 5 to 10 years.
- The items in the list will offer visibility and opportunity to the domestic industry to understand the trend and futuristic needs of the Armed Forces and create required Research and development (R&D) and manufacturing capacity within India.
i.PIL is one of the most important transformative reforms in pursuit of indigenisation.
ii.Previously, DMA had promulgated 4 PLIs comprising 411 military items.
iii.Seperately, the Department of Defence Production (DDP) has notified 4 PIL consisting of a total of 4,666 items, including Line Replacement Units/Sub-systems/Spares & Components for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
iDEX DISC 10 & DISC 10 PRIME Challenges
i.Defense Minister launched 76 challenges for the industry under DISC 10 & DISC 10 PRIME of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) to celebrate the 76th year of India’s independence.
ii.These challenges encompass problem statements from the three Services, the Indian Coast Guard, DPSUs, Border Roads Organisation(BRO), and Mission DefSpace.
iii.Additionally, 5 challenges were introduced under the iDEX for Fauji (i4F) scheme.
2 INDUS X Challenges:
During the seminar, the Defence Minister also launched Two India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS X) challenges under ‘INDUS-X Mutual Promotion of Advanced Collaborative Technologies’ (IMPACT) finalised by iDEX and the United States Department of Defense (US DoD).
- Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India, was also present at the launch.
INDUS X was launched during an event jointly organised by iDEX and US DoD in Washington DC, USA in June 2023.
- The event was hosted by hosted by US-India Business Council (USIBC).
- The event aimed to expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the start-up ecosystems, businesses and academic institutes of India and the USA.
Other Highlights of the Seminar:
i.During the seminar, the defence Minister launched ‘INVenT’ (iDEX-Navy Venture for Technology), an initiative to support and promote innovative solutions within the defence sector.
- The NIIO and the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) have signed an agreement to collaborate on facilitating Venture Capital investments into the defence ecosystem via the iDEX Innovators Hub (iIH).
ii.The defence minister also launched the SBI NAVeCash Card, an innovative dual-chip debit card designed for seamless transactions.
- The card was jointly developed by the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Indian Navy.
- This can be used in online mode as well as in offline mode while at sea with no direct connectivity with the bank.
- the card was tested onboard Indian Naval ships and is now ready for launch pan-Navy.
Indian Navy displays indigenously built navigation system, anti-swarm drone
The Indian Navy has developed an indigenous navigation system and an anti-swarm drone. The Dronaam counter-drone system was displayed at the Swavlamban 2023 exhibition.
- The new navigation system and anti-swarm drone can form a wall of iron balls around the warships against any drone attack
- The 30 mm ammunition is capable of building walls around its own warships as this ammunition has 300 steel balls, on detonation these spread and create a wall of balls and destroy the drones.
HAL hands over first LCA Tejas twin-seater aircraft to IAF
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has recently handed over the first twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas to the Indian Air Force, in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- The LCA Tejas Twin Seater is a lightweight, all-weather multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft.
- It is designed to support the training requirements of the IAF and augment itself to the role of a fighter in case of necessity.
- The Union Cabinet in 2021 approved the procurement of 83 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft at a cost of Rs 45,696 crore.
- 7 more LCA twin-seater aircraft will be delivered in 2024.
Products developed under the SPRINT (Supporting Pole-vaulting in R&D through iDEX, NIIO and TDAC) initiative was showcased during the exhibition organised as a part of the seminar.
- SPRINT was launched during the first Swavlamban with an aim to develop at least 75 technologies/products to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence as a part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Indian Navy unveils cutting-edge autonomous weaponized boat swarms and underwater vessels
The Indian navy unveiled the Autonomous Weaponized Boat Swarms and the Autonomous Vessel Underwater (AUV) during the Swavlamban 2.0.
- The Indian Navy has entered into an agreement with Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd for the development of Autonomous Weaponized Boat Swarms.
- This was the 50th contract awarded under the ‘SPRINT’ program.
ii.These swarm boats are equipped with various types of weaponry and sensors, capable of remote or autonomous operation.
iii.On the other hand, these AUV’s possess swarming capabilities, enabling multiple missions with low capital and operational expenses.
- These Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have the versatility to be employed in a variety of missions.
- These missions encompass Mine Counter Measures (MCM), anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), acquiring hydrographic and oceanographic data, as well as fulfilling homeland security roles.
About Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO)
i.It was launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Defence to fulfil its requirements relating to technology.
ii.It aims to foster innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence in keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
ii.It also aims to put in place dedicated structures for the end-users to interact with academia and industry.
About Ministry of Defence
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh (Constituency – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Ajay Bhatt (Constituency – Nainital–Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)