DRDO’S NEW TAR­GET: NO MIS­SILE IM­PORTS FROM 2022

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

The suc­cess of the Nirb­hay has in­stilled fresh con­fi­dence in the DRDO to set an am­bi­tious new tar­get. DRDO chief, and there­fore the coun­try’s se­nior­most mis­sile sci­en­tist, Dr Av­inash Chan­der said: “We have set a tar­get not to im­port any mis­siles and other tech­nolo­gies from abroad beyond 2022 and in­stead fo­cus on cre­at­ing our own in­dige­nous prod­ucts.” While In­dia is per force fully in­de­pen­dent in the strate­gic mis­sile sphere, with a full fam­ily of bal­lis­tic mis­siles, it is the tac­ti­cal mis­sile sphere that of­fers far greater chal­lenges. The only in­dige­nous tac­ti­cal sys­tem (other than the Indo-Rus­sian Brah­Mos) cur­rently in ser­vice is the Akash sur­face-to-air mis­sile. In ev­ery other ser­vice re­quire­ment, the armed forces con­tinue to use—and ex­press the need to im­port—for­eign sys­tems. The jour­ney is an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult one, but an im­per­a­tive one. For the DRDO chief’s vi­sion to fire, the en­tire gamut of weapon sys­tems cur­rently in de­vel­op­ment, will need to be fully proven and in­ducted into op­er­a­tional ser­vice by 2020. That in­cludes the As­tra BVRAAM, the Nag anti-tank guided mis­sile, the PAD/ AAD bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fence sys­tem, the Pra­haar/Pra­gati hy­brid sur­fafe-to-sur­face sys­tem, the B-05 sub­ma­rine launched hy­brid land at­tack mis­sile and oth­ers cur­rently in the stage of project def­i­ni­tion, in­clud­ing a stand-off air-launched strike mis­sile (a Nirb­hay-A could fill that re­quire­ment), a QR-SAM and point de­fence sys­tem (to fill the void left by the Tr­ishul sys­tem) and sev­eral oth­ers.

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