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DRDO will be revamped: Antony
June 03, 2008 21:30 IST
Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday indicated a revamp of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, to give it capability to produce futuristic systems within the country.
"Nations at best are only willing to provide previous generation tactical systems and that too on unacceptable terms and conditions," the minister said, stressing that in such a scenario, there was an strong need to optimise self-reliance in these critical areas.
The DRDO and the end-users, the armed forces, would have to work with greater synergy to achieve the goal of self-reliance and minimise over-dependence on foreign military supplies, he said.
"DRDO will have to play a crucial role in providing strategic defence with suitable delivery systems to the nation," Antony said while addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry.
His remarks assume significance in the context of the minister recently stating that the government had agreed to accept in full the recommendations of the P Rama Rao Committee to undertake a total revamp of the DRDO.
He said a country like India couldn't go on depending on one country or the other for its defence requirements. India, the minister said, was entering a new era in which New Delhi would not only be a buyer.
"We have devised the policy of offsets, the key element of which is transfer of technology, which will lead to setting up a strong defence industrial base in the country," he said.
Lauding some of the recent breakthroughs of the DRDO, particularly in missile technology, Antony said with the successful testing of exo-atmospheric interception missile, India had joined an elite club of nations such as USA, Russia [Images], China and Israel, who possess this capability.
He also outlined new programmes and tactical systems being developed by the organisation like more sophisticated missiles and radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars, UAVs, light combat aircraft, MBT Arjun and supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.
Taking part in the deliberations, members of Parliament expressed concern over delays in some of the crucial projects and quality of some of the products developed by the DRDO.
DRDO chief M Natarajan said a new pattern was being adopted whereby development of strategic systems was being undertaken in partnership with the academia and industry.