Letter from the Editor | August 2019

FORCE is 16 going on 17. It has been an exciting journey, with moments of satisfaction, anxiety, fun and periodic despair. A news-based defence magazine which does not shy from expressing its views too, is not an easy venture. It is a tightrope walk between what must be written and what can be written under the difficult circumstances in which we operate. We are happy to report that we have managed to balance ourselves all these years, with ample support from our readers, subscribers and advertisers. Of course, criticism, whenever it happened, challenged us to try harder and each challenge yielded new insights and understanding of India’s national security and defence. A heartfelt Thank You to our fellow travellers. You made everything worthwhile.

While in every issue we try and give something exclusive to our readers, in our anniversary specials we go the extra mile. This time we have focussed on the DRDO and indigenous defence industry. This anniversary special issue is anchored by an exclusive interview with the director DRDO Dr Satheesh Reddy. Built around the interview is the story of India’s protracted struggle towards defence indigenisation. Government of India’s Make in India dream has promised a lot and delivered little. While there are systemic reasons why policymaking has not kept pace with intent, one of the biggest fallout of this has been under-utilisation of India’s huge private sector resource in the process of nation-building.

One of the recent big stories has been the setting up of AK rifles factory in north India as a Indo-Russian joint venture. The JV between the Kalashnikov Company and Ordnance Factory Board will manufacture AK-203 rifles for the Indian armed forces. We bring you the full story of how we got here and what the future looks like.

In addition to this we also have exclusive interviews with director-generals of CRPF and ITBP. One of our contributors has written an extremely detailed article on the build-up of the Chinese troops on Tibet Autonomous Region. The article is both an eye-opener, as well as a cautionary tale. The article is supported by a commentary on China’s recent White Paper on National Defence. China-watchers will find it useful.

FORCE anniversary issue coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Kargil conflict. We carry a pictorial commemoration of that famous victory. Then there are our regular articles, news from the industry and services, plus a book extract. Enjoy the issue. Happy Anniversary to us! Continue walking with us.


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