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Compare performance of Indian-foreign weapon systems: DRDO

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander on Monday stressed on the need for a comparison between the performance of indigenous and imported weapon systems against the backdrop of the government focusing on developing home grown defence industrial base.

Emphasising on the induction of indigenous weapon systems, he took an apparent dig at the armed forces saying such equipment should not be rejected "merely because it weighs 50 grams more than the imported stuff".

He also claimed that the Arjun tank was better than the Russian-origin T-90 tanks on many aspects.

"Let us have a performance audit of both imported and indigenous weapon system and comparisons," Chander said while addressing a seminar at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

Seeking to justify the need for such a comparison, he said a number of times, indigenous weapon systems are criticised but "I have never heard any imported system's performance being evaluated."

He also stressed on the need for bench-marking Indian systems against the equipment being imported.

The DRDO chief said many times, the defence research agency is asked to develop defence equipment when it is close to be imported from foreign sources.

He said there was a need to increasing interaction with the Army, where the induction of DRDO equipment was "slow".

The Army has placed orders for only around 240 Arjun tanks and has expressed concerns over its weight.

The DRDO has developed several weapon systems including strategic Agni series of missiles and several other equipment such as Arjun tanks, Akash surface-to-air missiles and estimates its value to be around 1.5 lakh crore in armed forces, who rely on foreign sources for over 65 per cent of their requirements.

Recently Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that India should start building its own defence equipment to enhance its self reliance and also export the products to friendly foreign countries.

Asked about his hopes from the General Budget to be presented on July 10, Chander said he was hopeful for a hike in allocation for the defence sector.

To a query on the issues faced by the lone missile test range in the eastern coastal state of Odisha, he said there were environmental issues related to the presence of Oliver Ridley turtles there and also economic issues.

He said the DRDO was also looking for alternative ranges in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Andhra Pradesh, which after being developed would help in availability of test facilities.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be invited to the test firing of any new weapon system such as the Agni-5 missile, the DRDO chief said Modi takes a lot of interest in new technology and he would be invited to such events in future.


DRDO  Weapons  Indigenous  

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