Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FRONTLINE interview with DRDO chief Natarajan

FRONTLINE magazine has interviewed M Natarajan, chief of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in its latest issue (August 16-29) which contains a special focus on DRDO's golden jubilee. Excerpts:


"We are into a programme for the LCA. What started off as one project has become three: LCA for the Indian Air Force [IAF] and the Navy and a trainer version of the LCA… Naturally, when we draw a road map, we see the fructification of these three taking us to a medium combat aircraft, a multi-role combat aircraft with fifth generation technologies, where there can be commonality of parts with LCA in avionics or radar, and eventually, 15 years from now, building an unmanned aerial combat vehicle [UACV]... I see a good potential to build all together, about 1,000 aircraft, over a period of time. The LCA could be 400 in number for the IAF, 100 for the Navy; the trainer could be 150; the medium combat aircraft 250; and 100-150 for the UACVs."


"Nishant, the unmanned aerial vehicle we have built. It has done very well. But we are struggling to produce it in numbers because the production partner is not yet identified. The [DRDO] laboratory is doing the production. We are looking forward to encouraging greater private participation so that more Nishants can be produced in a shorter span of time."


Most people take note of a numerically quoted figure of the project value and the start date, a closing figure and a closing date, and try to decode a multiplication factor thereof, and say that the project cost had gone up by so many times. This is a simplistic way of passing judgement that does not speak the truth... I want to assure you that while the DRDO will take its share of blame – it is not the only entity to be blamed – there are others in the decision-making process. Yet, I would not wish to pass on the blame to them. I take the blame for the delay but we are giving products at a reasonable cost and they can be sourced at economical prices.

To read the full interview, go here.
All text Copyright Frontline


Anonymous said...

more bogus claims by moron natrajan. these drdo idiots will never learn i tell you.

Ravi said...

Dear friend,

Why the abusive words? Natrajan sir is not a moron, but a reasonably intelligent man

In entire interview, he is reasonably accurate.

12 pieces of Nishant have been ordered by Army for first, and follow on UAV are also being developed by Nishant UAV developer which is Aeronautics Development Establishment at Bangalore

Only place where one can have some debate is of exact production numbers of item like LCA, which are indicated by user and not specified And he is also indicating the same

Currently user has asked for 2Sq LCA with Ge 404 IN20 engine and 4-6 Sq with follow on engine

Overall, we have good potential to make different variant of LCA and other item as Natrajan sir says.

In engineering practise this is known as improved variant production.

In Army, different items are inducted using "Marks", user calls them Mk1, Mk2 and so on.

Thank you


Pritam said...

RAVI, the above person is not an Indian.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shiv,

In the article “The War at DRDO Bhavan “ you had written

“ In a noting sent by AK Antony himself (with inputs by the Defence Secretary), Natarajan has been asked why Pillai has not been recommended for an extension …….. Natarajan has called for a peer review committee to convene on July 17 to look into the matter …..…which had unanimously recommended that Dr Pillai should not be given an extention …… Those who support Natarajan's move insist that tenure extensions would discourage growth and freshness in leadership”

Contrary to the argument put forth in the above article about growth and freshness in leadership, of late Mr Manthiram Natarajan himself has been granting extensions to host of old Scientists. Now this practice has increased to such an extent that the papers for dozens (read quarter dozen) of tenure extension cases are sent to cabinet at one go. And the cabinet committee appears generous in blindly approving without going through the papers !

In this process Natarajan is showering favours on his own chosen people along with the deserving cases. On of the Scientist being considered for extension now is a glaring example. This Scientist has never handled any independent important project/ product. But he was made Director of the Laboratory when he was fourth in the seniority of the Lab. Subsequently Natarajan gave him promotion just two months ahead of his superannuation, and now proceeding to give tenure extension.

What a way of bringing growth and freshness in leadership practiced by DRDO !

Anonymous said...

as usual the drdo is at it...its a money guzling behemoth..pushing down inferior things down the services throat..the article in the frontline was too much..."how we have done this"how we have done that?"we r too good"...sadly out in the front where the men are deployed..some how these great inventions of them r never seen or if they r they dont work properly..starting from the substandard INSAS rifle..which none ever desired too carry if one valued his life in J & K.but everyone has been forced too lump we see them everyday..has anyone been too drdo and seen how the cash is wasted there the corruption in procure ment..???