Huge scope for exporting weapon system: DRDO chief

The weapon system and defence technology developed by DRDO are competitive and there is huge scope for exporting them, DRDO chief said.

Hyderabad: The weapon system and defence technology developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation are competitive and there is huge scope for exporting them, DRDO chief VK Saraswat has said.

"Our technology and the weapon system are competitive. There is tremendous export potential ...But we have to first make sure we have real output in terms of numbers and quality," Saraswat told reporters on the sidelines of a function here last night.

"Once that happens and once we are satisfied... I think in few years from now India would be in a position to export systems to friendly countries," Saraswat, who is also Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister said, adding, however exports policy will be restrictive and in areas of country`s interest.

Noting that there was demand from other nations for Aakash missiles, Saraswat said, "Since our production capacity today is limited, we have to first meet the requirement of our own armed forces. We are now trying to harness efforts of other industries to meet production requirement."

Saraswat also said that "the impact of Agni-V launch has given us confidence... We are not dependent on any nation as far as missile technology is concerned. There was a time when missile technology controlled regimes throttled our progress. But today we are in a position to not only manufacture for ourselves but ready to go from being a purchaser to exporter".

Emphasising the need for participation by the industry, he said, "Industry is going to participate... If this country has to be self-reliant (in defence equipment) it has to be through development and research work not only in DRDO, but in the industry sector."

"We need to augment our development capability in industrial sector by converting our partner component manufacturers into sub-system developer and the Indian (defence) industry should grow up to take the challenge," he said.

On a question,, Saraswat said the Tatra issue was an aberration and "we should not take (read) too much" out of it.

Saraswat also said he was looking forward to the
industries getting a status of system developer/ manufacturer.

He said the controlled navigation flight trial of Long-Range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) would be conducted in June which will be followed by a series of flight tests to prove complete efficacy of the system.

"By 2013 you will see LR-SAM completing its flight trial and it is expected to be inducted in 2014," Saraswat said, adding the Medium Range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) was also getting ready, being in advanced stage of development and is likely to get into service by 2015.