Japan wants to join India’s self-sufficiency journey. Offers expertise for building fighters and submarines

In the first India-Japan Defense Industry Dialogue, to enhance cooperation in defense equipment and technology, India and Japan identified projects in various fields.

Bilateral relations between India and Japan have witnessed the expansion and deepening of “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”, which means cooperation in strategic areas has expanded with more joint military exercises, in outer space, cooperation in R&D in the field of defense and security, and in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

On Tuesday, SIDM and the International Security Industrial Council – Japan, with support from the Department of Defense Production and the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, Japanese Ministry of Defense, hosted a virtual dialogue India – Japan on the defense industry.

In his opening remarks, India’s Ambassador to Japan, Sanjay Kumar Verma, said that to enhance defense and security cooperation, the two countries should explore new areas such as electromagnetic spectrum, space, cyberspace, underwater domain awareness, high energy lasers, cryptography, sensors, optical cables, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Moreover, with its technical capability and established research paths in future technologies, Japan has a lot more to offer not only to the Indian armed forces, but also to Indian power supplies and the defense industry in its together.

And on the other hand, India has a huge pool of trained and young manpower; this is a huge market for high-end military equipment, combined with investor-friendly government initiatives.

Atmanirbhar Bharat in defense

Japan’s Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki says his country, through co-development, co-design and co-manufacturing under “Make in India”, can be part of Atmanirbhar’s journey Bharat.

He pointed to various sectors in which the two sides could collaborate – such as the construction of warships and submarines, participating in India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project. And also in the parts, components and materials that are used in the manufacture of these different platforms. Adding, “we are sure to find items that can match India’s needs.”

Indigenous positive lists

The Japanese envoy offered that his country’s companies could cooperate on components or hardware.

Projects under discussion

The two countries are already in discussion for various projects, including: BEL and M/s Toshiba Corporation of Japan for Li-Ion battery technology.

The Indian DPSU BEL has also submitted a proposal to another Japanese company, M/s Jupitor Corporation, for the supply of an anti-drone system for the final needs of the Ministry of Defense of this country.

In projects related to the UGV/Robotics project, bulk growth of silicon carbide (SiC) single crystals, wafer fabrication process technology, among others, ATLA and DRDO have collaborated. And also projects related to underwater maritime security like – Underwater wireless power transmission and communication, cooperative and distributive intelligence technologies, manufacturing facility for the development of brushless micromotors without housing, and more.

During the previous JWG-DETC meeting, the Indian Navy had offered cooperation to ATLA in ship design and construction as well as Li-ion batteries.

Japan prepares to export military equipment

In May this year, reports from Japan indicated that the government of that country would soon allow exports of lethal military equipment to 11 countries, including India. These will include fighter jets and missiles and such an initiative starting next year will help both sides work together in defense manufacturing.

Comment from the SIDM President

Emphasizing that India and Japan are regional powers with similar goals and values, Neeraj Gupta, Chairman of SIDM International and Exports Committee, urged the two sides to pool their resources to develop the technologies of the future. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, Internet of things (IoT), etc. among other emerging technologies that can be developed by both parties, he said. Also, to identify collaboration opportunities with friendly foreign countries around the world.

Who participated in the discussion?

The discussion was moderated by Professor Tomohiko Taniguchi, former special adviser to the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Participants included Takahiro Araki, Head of International Cooperation Office, ATLA, Japanese Ministry of Defense; Cmde Mukesh Bhargava, Former, Chairman, SIDM Naval Systems Committee; Junichi Nishiyama; Former Deputy Director of Aerospace, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.