Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and former DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy has said that India has become self-sufficient in missile technology with wide range of missiles in its arsenal and that global restriction regimes “helped” it achieve this self-reliance.
Dr Reddy said that the country has today developed a range of missiles that any country would like to have.
While talking to ANI, the former DRDO chief said, “Indian missile programme has gone a long way and a number of missile systems have been developed. Varieties of missiles have been developed. Surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles, and many other varieties of missiles which have been developed in the country.
The country has gained a lot of knowledge and has become, I say that, self-sufficient and self-reliant in missile technology today by developing all these varieties of missiles. Range of missiles that any nation would like to have based on their necessities, the country has developed all these.”
When asked about the hurdles faced by the R&D organisation after the restrictions were imposed on India in the 1980s to restrict India’s missile programme, Dr Reddy detailed the manner in which the DRDO had countered the sanctions and said that it undertook as a mission, the development of components for missiles technologies.
“When the country started the missile programme, when we tested Prithvi, and Agni and conducted tests in Pokhran and other tests, there were restrictions put on this country.
Various components and critical systems, sub-systems which we have been dependent on foreign nations that had become very restricted. But I think that has helped the country. You had to develop yourself and so that was taken as a mission to develop all these critical systems and components that are required in these missile technologies. They all have been developed in a period of time indigenously,” he said.
Expressing confidence in the indigenisation of the country’s missile programme, Dr Reddy said that India is not dependent for any critical components on any other country today.
“Today I can say that the indigenous content in our missile programme is very, very high. I can definitely say that we are not dependent for any critical sub-systems and things like that on anyone. All these things are developed in the country and the industry is able to produce them and that’s how the missiles are getting developed very fast, as you have the how and know why in the country,” he said.
The former DRDO chief explained the kind of setbacks it received due to the restrictions, and said that they had begun the parallel development of the sub-systems for missiles in spite of facing troubles of not getting the required components.
“We were also in the phase of development of missiles, so you are not looking for a large number of sub-systems or components what you get from outside. The day we started the missile programmes, the leadership at that time definitely, thought that let us develop parallelly. Then parallel development work also started of sub-systems and critical technologies. When there were restrictions, that had definitely put us into some troubles that you are not able to get anything that you look for,” he said.
“And some we already got, which was there in stock, you use it for immediate use. So the indigenous programme has been accelerated. Serious importance is given to that. Lots of teams have been put in, and industries have been brought in parallelly. There has been a serious thrust on that,” Dr Reddy added.
Notably, India had conducted the first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, following which sanctions were imposed on the country.
(With Inputs from ANI)