Nasik, Maharashtra: Indian defence minister AK Antony has inaugurated the Advanced Centre for Energetic Materials (ACEM), a state-of-the-art composite propellant processing facility, at Nasik in Maharashtra. The facility has been created by the country's defence research umbrella organisation, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The facility has been set up by HEMRL (High Energy Materials Research Laboratory), a Pune-based DRDO laboratory engaged in research and development of high energy materials including solid rocket propellants.
Speaking on the occasion, Antony pointed out that missiles have now become one of the most important, and effective, means of delivering warheads. ''Our strategic capability to boost our defence preparedness is judged by its weapon delivery.''
He stated that despite doing well in many fields, we continue to be on the wrong side of the information divide. ''Nations the world over are today judged by which side of the information divide they are on. I am sure that with the inauguration of this facility, we will take a small but significant step towards bridging this gap. ''
Expressing satisfaction that most of the plant and machinery under embargo had been constructed indigenously. He stressed that to be more meaningful, and to be sustained for a longer term, the indigenization process must be total and irreversible.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr VK Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defence minister, secretary (defence R&D) and DG DRDO, said that this was not the end but the beginning of a longer journey as new and more efficient propellants will keep emerging, for which the facilities will need to be created.