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Building and developing the defence industry to meet the requirements of Fatherland construction and defence

Building and developing an autonomous, self-reliant, dual-use, and increasingly modern defence industry that has high scientific and technological levels is the Party's and State's essential strategic policy for building the Army and protecting the Fatherland.

With his strategic vision, only 13 days after the declaration of national independence, on September 15th, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh issued the Directive on the establishment of the Military Weapon Department (the predecessor of the General Department of Defence Industry) under the Ministry of Defence. The Department was assigned with two main tasks of collecting, purchasing, and organizing research and manufacturing of weapons for the armed forces and the entire population to fight against the enemies.

In the two resistance wars against the French colonialists and the American imperialists, although there were no basic industrial production establishments, such as electricity, chemicals, metallurgy, defence production technology equipment, and essential materials, in the sense of self-reliance, self-reliance, and dare-to-think and dare-to-do spirit, generations cadres, soldiers, engineers, workers, and employees of the Vietnam Military Weapon Sector overcame multiple difficulties, hardships, and dangers to research, renovate, repair, manufacture, and produce tens of millions of tons of weapons, ammunition, and equipment of all kinds, including high-tech weapons to provide for the armed forces and the entire people to fight against the enemies and make resounding victories that are glorious milestones in the nation's foreign invader resistance history.

When the country was unified, and the whole country forwarded to socialism, inheriting and bringing into full play the tradition and experience in combat service, the Military Weapon Sector made important strategic adjustments to strongly shift from military weapons to defence industry to create a new step of development in terms of quality that both met the defence production requirements and tasks and made an important contribution to the overall development of the country. Entering the Doi Moi period, following the Party's undertakings on building and developing the defence industry, especially Resolution No.06-NQ/TW issued on July 16th, 2011 by the Politburo (the 11th Tenure), The General Department of Defence Industry has always well performed its function of State management and proactively constructed and advised the Government on the approval of appropriate plans, programs, schemes, and construction projects for the development of the defence industry in each period. At the same time, it has also promotes its core role in directing and implementing to gain important results that have created new, fairly comprehensive development steps in the fields of operation of the Sector.

With its outstanding achievements, the Defence Industry has been awarded by the Party and State with the Gold Star Medal, 3 Ho Chi Minh Medals, and the First-class Military Achievement Medal. Its 31 collectives and 50 individuals have been commended with the titles of Hero of the People's Armed Forces, Labor Hero, Doi Moi Labor Hero, and many other noble rewards.

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In the coming years, the cause of building the Army and protecting the Fatherland places new higher requirements. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is affecting profoundly all fields of social life, including the military and defence. In that context, building and developing an autonomous, self-reliant, dual-use, and increasingly modern defence industry to enhance the country's defence and security capabilities and potentials and the armed forces' strength and combat readiness to meet the requirements and tasks of protecting the Fatherland and promoting socio-economic development is a strategic matter, an urgent, fundamental and permanent task. To well implement the above objectives, the Defence Industry should focus on thoroughly grasping and performing the following major tasks and solutions:

Firstly, to continue advising and recommending to perfect mechanisms and policies and consolidate the organizational structure of the Defence Industry in accordance with the country's reality. Thoroughly grasping and strictly implementing the Party and the Government’s resolutions and directives on building and developing the defence and security industry, especially the Politburo’s Resolution No.06-NQ/TW and Notice of Conclusion No.25/TB-TW issued on April 11th, 2017 by the Politburo (the 12th Tenure) on the Scheme for “Promoting the development of defence and security industry to meet the requirements of building and protecting the Fatherland in the new situation” and Resolution No.425-NQ/QUTW issued on May 18th, 2017 by the Central Military Commission on arranging, renewing, and enhancing the operational efficiency of the Army enterprises to 2020 and beyond, the General Department continues consolidating the organizational and operational models of defence production and repair establishments towards closely associating research and design with production and production with repair to ensure the defence industry’s deeper integration into the national industry and improve the efficiency of defence-economy integration.

Secondly, to diversify investment resources for development of defence industry potentials and improve the efficiency of production technology assurance, research, and manufacturing. Building and developing the defence industry requires a huge investment in human resources, finance, science, and technology, etc. Meanwhile, the State budget to ensure this field is still limited. Therefore, to achieve the set objectives, the Sector should actively mobilize a variety of resources to effectively implement the medium-term investment plan for the 2021 - 2025 period. Among which, schemes in guiding and pioneering core technology fields of design and manufacturing of new weapons, especially integration systems and weapon testing and experiment should be focused on. In addition, the General Department should encourage all economic elements to participate in the development of supporting industries, apply the public-private partnership (PPP) model in defence industry activities, and establish joint ventures with foreign countries in developing technologies for manufacturing details, semi-finished products, highly dual-use supporting industries,... in accordance with the provisions of law. The General Department should request defence enterprises and research institutes to attach importance to investment in technology innovation and modernization, associate technical infrastructure development with building of human resources; strictly maintain regulations and rules on the assurance work, especially regulations on design management, production technology, input material quality, and strict control of product quality; drastically implement measures to perfect production technology and remove technical and technological “bottlenecks”; closely supervise the processes of product production and acceptance and the quality of products used by the units; and rectify the research and trial manufacturing, completely handle outstanding scientific and technological projects and tasks, and improve the production and business efficiency.

Thirdly, to attach importance to attracting and developing high-quality human resources for the defence industry. Along with the development and implementation of effectively planning and plans for training, retraining, arrangement, and use of human resources in line with the objectives and roadmap for building and developing the defence industry, The General Department should continue recommending and developing appropriate mechanisms and policies to attract talents and brain potentials from socio-economic organizations, research institutions, and design institutes at home and abroad to participate in defence industry high-tech programs and projects. To diversify types of training and retraining and focus on building a contingent of highly qualified managers and administrators and highly qualified military science and technology staff in key, particular, and spearhead fields; and to rationally arrange and use staff and boldly propose the rotation and appointment of capable and young staff with good qualities. To continue reviewing, supplementing, and completing regimes and policies to ensure material and spiritual benefits for the contingent of defence cadres, employees, and workers, especially highly qualified science and technology staff, leading experts, highly skilled technicians,... so that they are enthusiastic and dedicated to their work.

Finally, to well implement two breakthroughs in improving corporate governance capacity and research, design, and manufacturing of weapons and technical equipment, especially new and modern weapons and equipment. To be more proactive in the context of globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Sector should continue promoting innovation to improve corporate governance capacity with the focus on building and implementing development strategies and setting long-term goals, visions, and overall action plans. To actively apply international standards in business management and administration, product quality management, etc. The General Department should direct agencies and enterprises to promote market activities and actively participate in trade and investment promotion activities; develop domestic and export markets; clearly define the target markets for the export of defence products, economic products, and services and transfer of technologies for weapons and ammunition production. To continue recommending and effectively implementing a number of investment projects receiving foreign technology transfer; to renovate technological equipment, upgrade production lines, supplement technologies,... to quickly bring the results of new weapon research, design, and manufacturing into production.

Inheriting and promoting the tradition, achievements, and experiences, the Defence Industry continues striving to fulfill its assigned functions and tasks to build and develop an autonomous, self-reliant, dual-purpose, and increasingly modern defence industry to meet the requirements of building and protecting the Fatherland in the new situation.

Lieutenant General, TRAN HONG MINH, PhD., Director of the General Department of Defence Industry

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For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.
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