Feeling the need of making Indian armed forces mere technology oriented, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that the government is committed to provide all support towards modernisation of the armed forces.
Addressing the Annual Unified Commanders’ Conference for Tri-Services Commanders in New Delhi, the minister said that there is a need to exercise financial prudence and optimise all available resources.
The defence minister told the top military brass that though the technology is important for modern warfare, it is ultimately the morale and motivation of our brave soldiers, sailors and Air Warriors which should be a major focus area for all the commanders.
Paying homage to all valiant Soldiers, Sailors and Air Warriors for their supreme sacrifice in honour of the nation, Parrikar recommended the armed forces for their devotion to duty and the stellar role played by them in safeguarding the country’s unity and integrity.
Earlier, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Air Marshal PP Reddy presented a report covering major achievements on key tri- services issues.
During the daylong conference, key security issues facing the nation and important strategic, operational, logistical, administrative aspects pertaining to Tri-Services were deliberated upon.
Airbus’ defense division is looking for new partners to expand its presence in the growing U.S. space market, and could potentially build components for a lunar program there, Airbus Defense and Space Chief Executive Dirk Hoke told Reuters.
Airbus is ramping up production of more than 640 refrigerator-sized satellites for start-up telecoms services provider OneWeb at a facility in Florida, that Hoke said would already give it some leverage in the U.S. market.
The company could also produce components in the United States for its European Support Module, a critical part of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, if that is modified as a module to access the moon, Hoke told Reuters at the Paris Airshow.
“We’re also looking for new partners, with whom we could expand our footprint in the U.S.,” he said. “We have some very good products and systems so it’s worthwhile to look at what we can do beyond what we do currently in Europe.”
Airbus’s defense and space division has long hoped to expand operations in the U.S. market, but lost out to Boeing on a lucrative U.S. Air Force refueling plane contract in 2011.
The company, which builds satellites and works with France’s Safran to build rocket launchers, now hopes the projected “new space” economy, which experts say could be worth $1 trillion a year, could give it another shot at a bigger U.S. role.
Hoke faulted European leaders for failing to articulate a clear, unified vision for its ambitions in the space business, and said they were essentially ceding leadership to the United States and billionaire private investors, such as Elon Musk.
“This is more than just a billionaire’s race to Mars. It is about having sovereign access to space, having access to resources in the long term, and of course, unfortunately, it is also a question of defense.”
Failing to take action and jump start new research and development program would leave Europe “in the second and third row position,” he said, noting that it would also cause a brain drain of top talent.
Rick Ambrose, head of U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin’s space division, the lead contractor on the Orion spacecraft, told Reuters his company was in preliminary discussions with Airbus about possibly the adapting the European Support Module to bring humans to the moon and back to an orbiting lunar station.
Ambrose said no decisions had been made, but it was “a logical conclusion” that some of the items developed by Airbus for the Orion spacecraft could be used to achieve U.S. President Donald Trump’s goal of putting humans back on the Moon by 2024.
“Getting to the moon by 2024 means …. we’re going to have to reuse everything we can reuse,” he said at the air show. (VOA)