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August 6, 1999
Major advances in defence systems soon
In a major boost to India's defence programme, two types of missiles, electronic warfare systems and unmanned aerial vehicles will reach production stage this year after user trials, scientific advisor to the defence minister A P J Abdul Kalam announced today.
Addressing the Defence Research and Development Organisation directors' conference in New Delhi, Dr Kalam said efforts were also ''progressing with high intensity for commencing the light combat aircraft flight test phase and operationalising a high-tech virtual reality laboratory this year''.
He said in spite of technology denials and sanctions, the DRDO along with its industry partners had established gallium arsenide and silicon foundries for making special grade devices, supercomputers and vital technology required for missiles and other systems using indigenous capabilities.
''When Agni reaches the target area, when 5.56 mm rifle reaches the infantrymen, when the compo pack ready-to-eat ration is available at high altitude mountains and when the happo bags are provided to the soldiers to overcome high altitude illness, we see the demonstration of technological capability,'' he said.
He said that though the DRDO's mission was design and development, some of its laboratories were in operational readiness and worked in close coordination with the armed forces during the the Kargil operations, whenever needed.
He felt the country's professionals produced the best results in a crisis environment.
Citing green revolution and information technology, he said, ''In our country, there is high efficiency and potential in certain pockets of high performance. It appears though that this high performance occurs when there is a crisis.''
In this context, he stressed on 'empowerment'. ''Empowerment is multi-dimensional -- intensive education, training, delegation of responsibilities, celebrating the success of the young and above all when they fail at times, create the required environment to succeed. When we provided empowerment, certain programmes yielded good results. Such empowerment must blossom in multiple areas,'' he said.
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