India must immediately move towards developing hypersonic cruise missiles to maintain minimum credible deterrence against its enemies, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
The countries that have done defence innovation are the ones who have bested their enemies and made their mark on history, he said.
"We should, therefore, strengthen ourselves and be ready to deal with any kind of situation," he said in his speech at an event of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Mr Singh said it should be ensured that India is a leader when it comes to defence technologies.
"We have to obtain those technologies too that are with just a few countries right now," the minister noted.
Ballistic missile defence systems are getting more and more robust with the passage of time, Mr Singh said.
"In order to maintain a minimum credible deterrence, we have to immediately think about hypersonic cruise missile development. It will be a revolutionary step in our defence sector and we all have to put our efforts into it," he said.
Multiple platforms designed and developed by the DRDO, and which have been handed over to the armed forces of the country, have strengthened the security architecture of India, he said.
"As the time is changing, our defence requirements are changing accordingly," Mr Singh noted.
Today, in battlefield, there is a new warrior called 'technology', he mentioned.
The way technology's role has increased in the battlefield, it is amazing and unprecedented, he noted.
In such a time, defence technologies with India will have to catch up with the future, he said.
The minister said he wanted to assure the people of the country that the modernisation and the integration of the armed forces would continue as usual.
"The integration and modernisation is not just happening by the efforts of the government. This is also happening because of the meeting of minds of our armed forces," he said.
"When we talk of making the country a net defence exporter, the path goes through the collaboration between entities such as the DRDO, armed forces, private industries and academia," he noted.
In the last few years, there has been a major shift in the way DRDO has been functioning, the minister said.
The government has already taken various measures to boost self-reliance in defence sector, he said.
Mr Singh talked about how corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board and the allocation of a part of defence budget to buy just indigenous items would boost self-reliance in the defence sector.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)