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RE: Kargil

[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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I agree that  defence research has led to a number of revolutionary
breakthroughs in technology. My point was to stress the need to allocate

research rupees in a manner that weighes the costs and benefits as best
can. Now, it is true that many of the spin-off benefits of defence
research could not have been (and indeed weren't) forseen but that need
not be true for all projects. For instance, the LCA programme, the MBT
programme, the nuclear submarine programme and such "big-ticket
items" are in my opinion wasteful or atleast the utility of these
programmes should be debated.

I feel that we should focus our R&D efforts in areas where the systems
need are hard to come by, where the initial investment in infrastructure

is (relatively)small, where potential markets abroad are significant,
where India already possesses substantial expertise and the spin-offs
tangible. THe IGMP is a good example of a programme that satisfies some
the above conditions.

As I indicated in my previous mail, electronic warfare
equipment, radars, electro-optic sensors, IR devives and so on are
ideally suited for intense R&D in India for defence and civilian
exploitation. Moreover, this can be easily done by the private sector
which would eliminate/reduce waste and inefficiency common to many
government programmes.

We might want to look at the Isreali experience
with the LAVI programme. They decided to shut down their attempt to
a home-grown fighter, the LAVI. Instead they relied on US jets which
by all accounts served them well. At the same time Isreali's have
developed significant expertise in electronic warfare equipment and
missile systems to the extent that they supply India (EW equipment) and
have a number of colloborative projects with the US (which testifies to
their level of technical expertise).

Another area where we might want to focus is the overhauling of older
systems. We have extensive experience with Russian equipment which is
used by a number of other nations. Yugoslavia has shown the way in this
matter. They have for a number of years offered modified versions of
and tested Russian systems. Some of their systems were even considered
purchase by the Indian Military.


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