New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday exuded confidence over the nation’s defence services and said that he was ‘confident’ that India will win the next war with the help of indigenised weapons and solutions.

Addressing at the 41st Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Directors Conference in Delhi, Rawat said, “DRDO has made strides in ensuring requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”

“India is one of the largest importers of weapons and ammunition, and after 70 years of Independence, it is not a very proud statement to make, ” Rawat said praising the defence industry.

The Army chief also highlighted that although the country’s weaponry is remarkable, there is a need for “non-contact warfare” through the development of cyber, space, and laser technology, electronic warfare as well as robotics.

“If we are looking at the contours of future warfare, it may not necessarily be contact warfare. So, there is a realm of non-contact warfare. We need to start looking at the development of cyberspace, space, laser, electronic warfare and robotics… and, along with that Artificial Intelligence (AI),” Rawat said and added, “And, if we do not start thinking on it now, it will be too late.”

The two-day event at the DRDO Bhawan also hosted National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy, while Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest of honour.

Inaugurating the ceremony, Rajnath Singh said, “Let us get inspired by his life and work towards realising his dream of making India a developed country through scientific advancement.”

He also paid tribute to former president APJ Kalam, whose 88th birth anniversary incidentally falls on the same day, by garlanding his bust at the premises. Meanwhile, NSA Doval recounted the significance of DRDO and said that the defence services make India ‘strong and secure’, and in that the role of DRDO is very important.