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|November 28, 1997||
'No country can throttle us'
India has started developing the futuristic reusable missile systems and reached a stage where no country can throttle its missile programme, says Bharat Ratna award winner A P J Abdul Kalam.
''Reusable missile systems which can deliver and come back, and Remotely Piloted Vehicles which can cover hundreds of kilometres of enemy territory are the two most important systems which India should possess in the 21st century. Work has already started,'' Kalam told reporters.
In reply to a question about the impact of technology denial regimes on the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme conceived by him, the defence scientist said, ''We have reached a stage where no country can throttle us.''
Answering another query about the IGMDP, Kalam said that irrespective of the political situation in the country, successive governments had accorded due priority to the missile programme and so there was no question of coming under pressure from one quarter or the other.
He also said that technology regimes like the Missile Technology Control Regime were mostly directed at India.
Kalam said the reusable missile system and the RPV were connected and would use Stealth and ram rocket technology. The latter had already being put to use in the Akash missile being developed under the IGMDP, he pointed out.
Kalam, who is also the scientific adviser to the defence minister and secretary (defence research), said India had succeeded in frustrating the technology denial regimes directed against it because it had decided to identify and develop critical technologies way back in 1986.
Kalam, who is director general of the elite Defence Research and Development Organisation, said he was overcome by a feeling of ''great happiness'' when he was told on Wednesday night that he had been chosen for the Bharat Ratna award.
Asked to identify his future priorities, Kalam said it was his plan to make India about 70 per cent self-reliant in critical technologies by 2002. His second priority, he says, is to transform India from a developing to a developed nation by 2005.
Asked to identify his lifetime achievement, Kalam said it was always team work which paid dividends. But he later admitted he was happy with his contribution as mission director of a team of scientists and technicians for a Satellite Launch Vehicle in 1980 and then again as the scientist in charge of the IGMDP in 1989.
Kalam initially worked in the DRDO in 1958 and then joined the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1963. He rejoined DRDO in 1982 as director of the Defence Research Development Laboratory at Hyderabad and conceived the IGMDP. Through SLV-3 and IGMDP, a solid foundation was laid for indigenous design and development of high technology aerospace projects.
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