On Monday, The Chief of Army Staff extended his greetings on 76th Army Day. The Chief of Army Staff pointed out that the Indian Army will observe the year 2024 as the ‘Year of Technology Absorption’ — a theme that underscores the Army’s focus and efforts to leverage technology as a catalyst for transformative change.

“The character of warfare continues to change. To prepare ourselves for the future, we set into motion a holistic transformation process last year. We have made good progress, and many milestones have been achieved. Our capability development endeavours stand on the tower of Atmanirbharta, to which we are firmly committed. The transition towards becoming a modern, agile, adaptive and technology-enabled future-ready force shall continue as part of the Transformation Roadmap,” He said.

What is Technology Absorption?

Technology absorption refers to the process by which organizations acquire, assimilate, and effectively utilize new technologies to improve their products, services, processes, or capabilities. Technology absorption in the defence sector involves military organizations acquiring and integrating new technologies, such as weapons systems and communication networks, into their operations to improve their capabilities and effectiveness in national security. They integrate external technological knowledge, innovations, and practices into existing operations and systems to enhance performance, competitiveness, and efficiency.

Disruptive Technology in the Defence Sector:

Disruptive technologies in the defence sector are innovations that significantly alter the way military organizations operate, fight wars, and maintain security. These technologies can potentially revolutionize military capabilities, strategies, and doctrines. Disruptive Technology plays a crucial role in Indian defence sectors.

Disruptive technologies impacting the defence sector include: 

    • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI enables autonomous decision-making, predictive analytics, and unmanned systems in defence. It can analyze vast amounts of data, enhance situational awareness, optimize logistics, and support decision-making processes on the battlefield.
    • Autonomous SystemsAutonomous systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and unmanned maritime vehicles (UMVs) are revolutionizing warfare by performing military tasks such as reconnaissance, surveillance, logistics, and offensive operations with little human intervention.
    • Cyber Warfare and CybersecurityThe growing dependence on digital systems has made cybersecurity and cyber warfare essential in today’s conflicts. Innovations like advanced encryption, quantum computing, and machine learning are vital for detecting and responding to cyber threats.
    • Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs): DEWs, employing lasers or microwaves, can disable or destroy targets with advantages like instant targeting, precision, and cost-effectiveness over traditional weapons. 
    • Space-Based Technologies: Space-based technologies, such as satellites, are vital in modern warfare for various purposes, including communication, navigation, and surveillance. Innovations like small satellites and constellations enhance global battlefield awareness. 
    • 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing: Additive manufacturing technologies facilitate the quick creation and production of parts and military equipment, supporting decentralized manufacturing, lowering logistical challenges, and enabling customizing military gear. 
    • Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Advances in biotechnology and bioengineering can significantly impact defence by creating new materials, medical treatments, and enhancements for soldiers. These biologically inspired innovations offer the potential for improved battlefield protection, sustainability, and performance. 
    • Quantum Technologies: Quantum technologies can significantly enhance defence capabilities through faster problem-solving, quantum computing, and secure communication via unbreakable quantum cryptography. 
    • Electromagnetic Railguns and Advanced Munitions: Electromagnetic railguns launch projectiles at high speeds using electromagnetic forces, providing greater range, accuracy, and lethality than traditional artillery. They also use advanced guided munitions for precise targeting.


Here are some key challenges in Technology Absorption in the Defence Sector:

    1. Security Concerns: The technologies must adhere to strict standards to protect data integrity, confidentiality, and availability. The challenge lies in adopting emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, and cloud computing without jeopardizing security. 
    2. Complex Procurement Processes: The procurement process in the defence sector is lengthy and highly regulated. Bureaucratic hurdles, strict procurement guidelines, and lengthy approval cycles can delay the adoption of new technologies. 
    3. Human Capital and Training: Adopting new technologies in the defence sector is limited by the shortage of skilled personnel and the high costs of training programs. 
    4. Cost Constraints: Limited defence budgets and competing priorities make investing in and adopting new technologies challenging due to cost constraints. 
    5. Regulatory Compliance: Defence organizations face challenges in ensuring new and emerging technologies comply with various domestic and international regulations and standards.   

Enhancing indigenous technology in the defence sector involves fostering domestic innovation, research, and development capabilities to create cutting-edge technologies that meet the unique requirements of national defence. “Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) is a policy initiative launched by the Government of India to foster economic growth, promote indigenous manufacturing, and reduce import dependency. Atmanirbhar Bharat plays a significant role in India’s defence sector.

Here’s a roadmap that India could follow to enhance its self-reliance (Atmanirbhar) in defence: 

  • Develop a comprehensive policy framework that prioritizes indigenous defence production and technology development. This framework should include clear objectives, targets, and timelines for self-reliance in critical defence technologies and capabilities.
  • Increase investment in defence R&D to foster innovation and technology development. Establish dedicated R&D institutions, laboratories, and centres of excellence focused on defence technologies. Encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors, academia, and research institutions to drive innovation. India spends only 0.8% of its GDP on all R&D, which is very low compared to other developed countries.
  • Provide incentives and support for domestic defence manufacturing companies to produce a wide range of defence equipment and systems within India. This could include tax incentives, subsidies, and access to finance. Streamline regulatory processes and create a conducive business environment to attract investment in defence manufacturing.
  • Facilitate technology transfer and collaboration with foreign defence companies to acquire advanced technologies and expertise. Establish partnerships, joint ventures, and technology-sharing agreements with global defence firms to leverage their capabilities and strengthen indigenous defence production.
  • Invest in skill development programs to build a skilled workforce supporting indigenous defence production and technology development. Establish specialized training institutes and apprenticeship programs to train personnel in designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintaining defence equipment.
  • Simplify and expedite the defence procurement process to reduce delays and bureaucratic hurdles. Implement transparent and efficient procurement policies that prioritize domestically developed technologies and products. Encourage participation from domestic companies, including SMEs, in defence procurement initiatives.



Successful technology absorption in the defence sector requires a strategic approach, comprehensive risk management, investment in human capital, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders to leverage emerging technologies effectively and maintain technological superiority in an evolving threat landscape.

Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub and a self-reliant economy across various sectors, including defence. By promoting indigenous manufacturing, technology development, and innovation, India seeks to strengthen its defence capabilities, promote economic growth, and enhance its strategic autonomy on the world stage.

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 10th April 2024


Prelims Practise Questions:

Q. Which of the following weapons in Indian defence are indigenously developed? 

    1.  Pinaka Multi barrel rocket launchers.
    2.  ALH Dhruv choppers
    3.  Arjun tanks

Choose the correct answer using the code given below—  

A. Only one 

B. Only two 

C. All three 

D. None



Q. How can India become self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) in the defence sector? Critically examine the challenges of emerging technology in the defence sector. 


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