Former chief Aatre backs DRDO

Former chief Aatre backs DRDO

Former Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Aatre has come down heavily on critics of the DRDO in the wake of the sacking of its chief Avinash Chander. Aatre told Deccan Herald, “DRDO is not as worthless as it is made out to be.”

Aatre said he had read the news about Chander. “It’s possible that the government did not want to extend the contract. I don’t know if you can call this sacking. Since a person is on contract, it’s possible that the contract could be withdrawn.”

When asked whether the cancellation of Chander’s contract had anything to do with delivery delays and DRDO’s performance, Aatre responded: “I am not so sure about that. There will be delays in big organisations like DRDO which deal with a number of technical projects. I can’t say anything more on that.”

Aatre spoke candidly about how to assess DRDO’s contribution to defence and science in the country.

“A technical organisation like DRDO has ups and downs, failures and successes, some good things and some not so good things. Everything depends on how and what you want to see. I am not saying all things are great in DRDO, but all things are not bad either.”

DRDO, he says, has stories that need to be taken note of. “Is not the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) flying? Has there been a single crash of the LCA from the time test flights began 15 years ago? No. But people always talk about delays in the aircraft project.

New radar systems are under production, electronic warfare systems are ready, sonar technology has been mastered....we can prepare a long list of pluses. There has always been talk of failures and delays over successes. A balanced view is necessary.”

Does he feel the country has acknowledged DRDO’s work? “There has been some acknowledgement, but not openly. It is time to acknowledge.”
DH News Service

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