DRDO needs funds to build indigenous capabilities

R&D work at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been hit by an unchanged budget allocation for the past three years, a senior defence official has said, warning that it would have an adverse effect on building indigenous capabilities if money is not pumped in.

“In the last three years, the (DRDO) budget has remained constant to Rs 10,000 crores,” said Avinash Chander, adviser to the defence minister, secretary at department of defence and director general of DRDO.

“The dollar rate has increased, there is inflation and salaries are rising each year. Effective purchasing power is coming down. (Therefore) What I can invest in R and D is reducing. This is not a good sign,” Chander said while speaking to journalist on the sidelines of the 9th International Radar Symposium India, 2013 in the city.

He said the issue has been discussed with the government and hoped it would be resolved swiftly. “Today if I do not have funds, I will not be able to develop low wavelength MIMO radars, (while) multistatic radars will be held up as they are high investment radars. We have conveyed these concerns to the government. One good thing is that all in DRDO agree that it should be funded better,” he said. Chander said about eight or nine per cent of the defence budget is needed to actually advance development of indigenous capabilities, while he also said there should be a greater industry participation in building radar technology.

India may have excellent radar technology in terms of engineering and signal processing, but the country could not develop its own device, Chander said, adding that the industry has the potential in helping things done domestically.

“For example the radar assessment systems, engineering modules like transmit receivers’ modules…those devices we have to import, we need to make those devices. That is where industries have to get into the area,” said Chander.

“In our system we are not able to assure orders to the industry. Unless we are able to create a mechanism where industries are sure of the orders they will not be able to invest,” Chander said.

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