‘Conventional wars like the one still raging in Ukraine require boots on the ground. For capturing territory and defending it, we need infantry, trenches, and mines,’  Lt. Gen. Ajai Kumar Singh said.

‘Conventional wars like the one still raging in Ukraine require boots on the ground. For capturing territory and defending it, we need infantry, trenches, and mines,’  Lt. Gen. Ajai Kumar Singh said.
| Photo Credit: AFP

General Officer Commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command Lt. Gen. Ajai Kumar Singh on Wednesday said that while new disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) are crucial, legacy platforms and conventional warfare capabilities cannot be ignored. 

Speaking at the first Southern Star Army Synergia Conclave, 2024, Lt. Gen. Singh cited the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict to highlight the importance of not neglecting legacy platforms and conventional warfare capabilities. 

“Disruptive technologies like AI, ML, etc., are there, but we cannot forget legacy platforms. Conventional wars like the one still raging in Ukraine require boots on the ground. For capturing territory and defending it, we need infantry, trenches, and mines,” Lt. Gen. Singh said.

He added that peace and stability require strong armed forces and a strong economy along with a stable internal situation, each enabling the other. 

“The three are related. A strong economy leads to a strong defence force, and a strong defence force means peace and stability, allowing the economy to grow.” 

He called for increased collaboration between industry, academia, and the armed forces and stressed the need for an ecosystem that supports defence innovation and production. 

He said that though there were 1.3 lakh start-ups in India, only 200 were related to the defence sector. 

“This needs to increase. In the US, Russia, South Korea, Germany, and the UK, defence manufacturing has propelled the economy. Start-ups need to be handheld, we should help them and nurture them,” he added.

The first Southern Star Army Synergia Conclave, 2024, is aimed to bring together senior Indian Army officers, leading academia, strategic experts, industry, and start-ups. 

The conclave is expected to serve as a platform for industry, start-ups, innovators, venture capitalists, defence PSUs to understand the future of conflict and align their technologies and find opportunities to use cases in the defence sector.

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