Av­inash Chan­der is the new DRDO chief


Dr Av­inash Chan­der has been ap­pointed as the new Sci­en­tific Ad­vi­sor to De­fence Min­is­ter, Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment, and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO). “I feel hon­oured to take up this new re­spon­si­bil­ity. Dr Saraswat has set DRDO on a good course, I have to con­tinue and take it to the next level,” said Chan­der.

Dr Chan­der is an em­i­nent mis­sile sci­en­tist and the chief ar­chi­tect of the long-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile sys­tem Agni. He en­vi­sioned and evolved the strate­gies for long-range mis­siles and led the de­sign and de­vel­op­ment of Agni se­ries of mis­sile sys­tems – Agni A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 pro­vid­ing cut­ting edge, de­ci­sive strate­gic weapon sys­tems to the armed forces, lead­ing to the suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­ment of the na­tion’s pride, 5000-km range Agni-V strate­gic weapon sys­tem pro­pel­ling In­dia to join the elite club of five ad­vanced na­tions. De­vel­op­ment of Agni range of mis­siles in highly restric­tive In­ter­na­tional Con­trol Regimes was pos­si­ble only out of his tech­nol­ogy fore­cast, per­spec­tive plan­ning and re­lent­less ef­forts. He cre­ated the in­fra­struc­ture, in­dus­try base, pro­duc­tion lines, and in­te­gra­tion fa­cil­i­ties to pro­duce dif­fer­ent classes of Agni mis­sile sys­tems. To­day, the Agni A1, A2, A3 mis­siles oc­cupy the pride of place in the in­ven­to­ries of the In­dian armed forces.

His pi­o­neer­ing re­search in the “In­no­va­tive En­ergy Man­age­ment Guid­ance Scheme” has en­abled util­i­sa­tion of Solid Propul­sion, the main thrust and the back­bone of long-range mis­siles sys­tem. Un­der his lead­er­ship, DRDO car­ried out ex­ten­sive re­search and in­dige­nously de­vel­oped the crit­i­cal tech­nolo­gies such as com­pos­ite rocket mo­tors, re-en­try car­bon com­pos­ite heat shield, ad­vanced high ac­cu­racy nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, flex noz­zle con­trol sys­tem, high-end real-time com­put­ing tech­niques. His long-term ex­per­tise has been pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary thrust for the Pro­grammes of National im­por­tance such as un­der­wa­ter mis­siles, BrahMos cruise mis­siles, Nag, air de­fence sys­tems, etc. He laid the tech­nol­ogy roadmap for mis­sile com­plex lab­o­ra­to­ries and led the R&D in the ad­vanced nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, on­board com­put­ers, servo valves and seek­ers.

Av­inash Chan­der had joined DRDO in 1972 af­ter com­plet­ing grad­u­a­tion in Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neer­ing from IIT Delhi. He ob­tained M.S in Spa­tial In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy from Jawa­har­lal Nehru Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity, Hyderabad. He is a Fel­low of In­dian National Acad­emy of Engi­neers, Fel­low of Sys­tems So­ci­ety of In­dia, Fel­low of Andhra Pradesh Acad­emy of Sciences and Vice-Pres­i­dent of Astro­nau­ti­cal So­ci­ety of In­dia.

The dis­tin­guished sci­en­tist has re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards and hon­ours in­clud­ing DRDO Sci­en­tist of the Year, Astro­nau­ti­cal So­ci­ety of In­dia Rock­etry and re­lated Tech­nolo­gies Award, Dr Biren Roy Space Science and De­sign Award, Agni Self-re­liance Award, Path Break­ing Re­search/Out­stand­ing Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Award, Out­stand­ing Tech­nol­o­gist Award by Pun­jab Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity, Tech­nol­ogy Lead­er­ship Award, Dis­tin­guished Alum­nus Award of IIT, Delhi.

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