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Monday, March 07, 2022, 09:02 (GMT+7)
Our Party’s new thinking on science and technology development in the Homeland construction and protection

Science and technology development plays a role of special importance to the Homeland construction and protection process. According to the 13th National Party Congress Resolution, “science and technology act as a top national priority and a key incentive for the development of modern productive forces.” This is our Party’s new thinking and strategic vision towards the role of science and technology in the national development process. In military-defence field, such thinking and vision become a determinant to building and developing defence industry, manufacturing modern weapons without dependence on other countries, and remaining self-reliance in the development of science and technology, particularly core technologies, from design to manufacture, in accordance with our country’s geographical conditions and our Military’s combat methods to firmly protect the Homeland in any situation.

Over the years, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) have focused their leadership and direction on developing military science and technology. Military science and technology activities have been organised in a uniform, comprehensive manner with new developments to opportunely settle practical issues and make contributions to sufficiently ensuring weapons and technical equipment for the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), gradually modernising our materiel, and meeting the requirements set by combat readiness, training, exercises, and combat to firmly protect the Homeland.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Le Huy Vinh addressing the conference to review military science and technology work of 2021 (photo: qdnd.vn)

It is worth noting that a lot of science and technology researches have been applied to military-defence work and mass production of high-quality equipment for our VPA. Due attention has been paid to implementing large-scale programmes and projects to synchronously manufacture complex products, thereby making contributions to improving our research capacity in a number of specialised fields and maintaining self-reliance in designing and manufacturing many hi-tech weapon systems. Our fundamental research, base technology, and ancillary technology have been developed. Our defence industry has been basically self-reliant in researching and domestically manufacturing most of essential weapons and technical equipment for ground and signal forces. We have managed to manufacture several integrated systems, mechanical and electronic clusters, materials, and components for the production of new weapons and equipment, thereby ensuring technical support for weapons and technical equipment of the VPA’s services, corps, and sectors.

Science and technology researchers have been basically trained both at home and abroad and via practical activities. We have established intensive research groups at institutes, academies, and universities. We have founded a number of specialised and multidisciplinary research centres. We have also developed and engaged military enterprises in science research to effectively serve military-defence task. Facilities for research and application have been gradually upgraded to boost our capabilities in research, design, trial production, testing, and mass production. The system of laboratories in various science and training fields have been provided with a large number of pieces of modern equipment to satisfy the requirements set by research, training, and science-technology services and enable science-technology organisations and scientists to access scientific and technological advances of the region and the world.

Our military science and technology potential and resources have been increased. Due regard has been paid to protecting and exercising intellectual property rights. There has been a sharp increase in registrations of industrial property rights. Defence management of technical standards, labels, measurement standards, and product quality has been closely maintained.

However, science and technology infrastructures of research centres, schools, and units have yet to be synchronous, and they have yet to keep pace with the development of science and technology and international integration. More seriously, there has been a lack of high-calibre human resources. Several commands and sectors have yet to be fully aware of the role of science, technology, and innovation. Coordination between offices in charge of science and technology management and units in charge of research and manufacture as well as between research centres themselves has yet to be close. There has been a dearth of effective policies to encourage researchers to dedicate themselves to science and technology.

In the upcoming years, it is predicted that the situation on a global and regional scale will witness rapid, complex developments. Non-traditional security challenges will become more serious. COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be complicated. Arms race between countries will be increasingly intense and more popular. Besides, the appearance of hi-tech weapons and disputes over territories, seas, islands, particularly in the East Sea will pose more challenges to our Homeland protection. Hence, developing military science and technology to a new height so as to ensure weapons and technical equipment and increase our Military’s synergy and combat readiness is a matter of importance and urgency. To that end, the entire VPA and especially offices in charge of science and technology research should focus on well implementing several basic tasks and measures as follows.

First, keep thoroughly grasping resolutions and directives of our Party and State on science and technology development. According to our Party, great value should be attached to “synchronously developing natural sciences, technologies, social sciences and humanities, and political theoretical science,” “improving the national innovation and creativity system, and restructuring science and technology research programmes, with enterprises playing a central role and the Homeland construction and protection acting as the goal.” It is worth noting that our Party has placed emphasis on developing and applying science and technology to military-defence work, while putting innovation and creativity at the forefront of the science and technology development in the context of the 4th industrial revolution. Therefore, all-level party committees and commands across the VPA should focus on enhancing the effectiveness of military science and technology researches to meet new task requirements. It is necessary to review the strength, organisational structure, equipment, and resources of each office and unit for science and technology as the basis for force adjustments in accordance with their functions, tasks, and existing materiel as well as the building of the science and technology potential in the new condition. In the process, it is important to guarantee objective, comprehensive, focalised reviews and adjustments relevant to each office, unit, and force’ task requirements. In addition to removing some sections, it is essential to continue investing in the forces which will move straight to modernity.

Second, clearly identify guidelines and orientations for the development of science and technology in the MND’s Science – Technology Development Strategy towards 2030 to build a compact, strong, gradually modern VPA. According to the Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress, we will build a revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern VPA, with a number of its services, corps, and forces moving straight to modernity. By 2025, we will basically build a compact, strong VPA as a solid prerequisite for a revolutionary, regular, elite, modern VPA from 2030. To fulfil that goal, it is necessary to continue stepping up the development of science and technology. Significance should be attached to encouraging innovation and creativity, restructuring science and technology research programmes, with enterprises playing a central role, reviewing and rearranging science and technology organisations, and comprehensively renewing policies on human resources for science and technology. This strategic direction of our CMC and MND should be realised by all-level party committees and commands to develop science and technology in accordance with the modernisation of the VPA.

In the period of 2021-2025, emphasis should be placed on accomplishing and reviewing key science and technology projects as well as proposing and developing new others. Moreover, it is essential to formulate a uniform plan on the demand for weapons and technical equipment in line with the task of science and technology research. Due attention should be paid to clearly classifying groups of products in terms of procurement, technology transfer, and domestic manufacture. Domestically manufactured products must have technical and tactical features equivalent to imported ones, but their price must be lower. We will not import defence products which our country is able to manufacture.

Third, continue consolidating science and technology organisations, turning them into intensive research centres, and aligning research with manufacture. This measure is mainly aimed at assigning science and technology research missions to research organisations in accordance with their task requirements and strengths. To that end, academies and schools must undertake fundamental and base researches, while research centres must focus on applied researches in line with defence production facilities. It is necessary to proactively collaborate with enterprises and units outside the Military in fostering international cooperation, transferring technologies, and approaching the achievements of the 4th industrial revolution. Military units must heighten the cooperative spirit and avoid monopoly. There should be mechanisms to enable units outside the VPA to grasp information about cooperation; however, it is important to ensure information security and assign fragmented, independent missions to non-military units in accordance with their advantages. In order to raise the effectiveness of science and technology development and application, offices and units should closely combine science and technology research and application with design and manufacture to serve social life, meet social needs, and greatly contribute to making a huge change in the building and development of our defence industry. At the same time, due attention should be paid to promoting the role of science, technology, innovation, and creativity as a key motivation to turn defence industry into the mainstay of the national industry and contribute to making the people’s armed forces, including the VPA compact, strong, and capable of defending the Homeland in the new situation.

Fourth, comprehensively renew policies and mechanisms to manage science and technology under the State’s regulations and the MND’s particularities. Well implementing this measure will help robustly renew mechanisms for managing and assigning science and technology missions. There should be preferential treatment policies to mobilise and promote high-quality human resources both inside and outside the Military for difficult, key science and technology missions. Science and technology cadres from research units should be allowed to take part in negotiating for, giving advice to, and executing projects of technology transfer and materiel upgradation and modernisation so as to increase their proactiveness in science and technology activities. Due regard should be paid to resolutely transforming dual-purpose research units into autonomous science and technology enterprises and establishing new others in order to encourage innovation and creativity. Additionally, there should be special mechanisms for implementing key science and technology programmes and projects.

Fifth, increase military science and technology potential and make more investments in strategic researches and key products. This measure also acts as a requirement for reviewing the system of laboratories across the VPA. Thus, priority should be given to investing in laboratories tasked with designing and manufacturing defence products. Research centres and laboratories invested by the State and the MND must ensure transparent financial management. In addition to financial resources for crucial research missions, it is necessary to concentrate special resources on programmes and projects to research modern weapons and technical equipment for the VPA, particularly for its services, corps, and forces moving straight to modernity. Significance should be attached to mass-producing and supplying products which are domestically researched and designed, with the equivalent quality but a lower price than imported ones to the Military. At the same time, there should be speicalised policies to ensure budget for science and technology researches.

Offices and units should focus on drastically encouraging innovation and creativity as a bridge for science and technology to directly serve the provision of weapons and technical equipment for the VPA and increase the quality, productivity, and competiveness of defence industry, with military enterprises playing a central role and research centres acting as the subjects of research, development, and creativity. Great value should be attached to cooperating with training and research centres outside the Military in undertaking applied researches, transferring technologies, and training high-calibre human resources for science and technology. In this regard, priority should be given to cooperating with strategic partners. Last but not least, due attention should be paid to combining international cooperation in science and technology with science and technology programmes for developing defence and security industries, bringing into play partners’ strengths, taking advantage of our favourable geographical conditions to encourage the transfer of new technologies, mastering and developing advanced technologies, and attracting more investments for developing new technologies.

Sr. Lt. Gen., Dr LE HUY VINH, Member of the Party Central Committee

Member of the CMC, Deputy Minister of National Defence 

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