DRDO requests for more funds - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

Home Top Ad


Monday 19 March 2012

DRDO requests for more funds

The Prahaar short range surface-to-surface missile, pictured here during its first test last year. The DRDO chief mentioned this missile yesterday as one of the DRDO's recent triumphs

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 20th Mar 12

The chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) complained to Defence Minister A K Antony today that the ministry had not allocated enough funds for research and development, given the number of weapon development projects on the anvil.

Speaking at a DRDO conference in New Delhi, where Antony was present, DRDO’s director V K Saraswat, said, “At the recently concluded Indian Science Congress, the honourable PM had promised a substantial increase in fund allocation for science and technology. But, it is noted in the Budget proposals for 2012-13, the share of funds for DRDO remains more or less the same. DRDO has a requirement of about Rs 14,000 crore against an indicated allocation of Rs 10,640 crore.”

Saraswat cited several new development projects that demanded immediate funding, specifically the short-range surface to air missile; the Arjun Mark II tank; the Tejas Mark II fighter; and the Agni-5 and Agni-6 nuclear-capable, long-range, ballistic missiles. “We request the honourable RM (raksha mantri) to consider higher allocation of funds for DRDO,” said Saraswat.

Antony said the government’s precarious finances made additional funding unlikely. “I know the limitations of this year’s defence budget. The finance minister is very sympathetic to defence ministry; he himself was the defence minister earlier. But this year he is in a very difficult situation. Difficult is a mild word… it is a very, very critical situation. Let us see if our economy revives this year; then in the second half, we will try and get more money. This year, despite the difficulties, we were able to give some more money to the Navy. Let us see if, in the second half (of the year) we are able to help the DRDO,” said Antony.

Saraswat’s request for more funding received support from Satpal Maharaj, chairman of the standing committee of Parliament on defence. Maharaj noted the share of R&D in the defence budget has risen from one per cent in the 1960s to six per cent today. He said the committee had recommended an R&D allocation of at least 10 per cent, given “certain countries in our neighbourhood” were spending up to 15 per cent.

The DRDO’s revenue budget for this year was Rs 5,995 crore, marginally up from last year’s Rs 5,386 crore. But the capital budget, which funds the development of new weapon programmes, remained stagnant: Rs 4,640 crore this year, against Rs 4,628 crore last year. If depreciation of the rupee and inflation are factored in, the capital budget was significantly reduced.

But Saraswat struck an upbeat note, playing up several landmarks that are coming up soon. The most keenly anticipated would be the first launch of the Agni-5, which can carry a nuclear warhead to a target 5,000 km away. Saraswat revealed the Agni-5 would be launched in April. Also coming up in “a few months” are the first flight of the Nirbhay long-range cruise missile; the Naval Tejas light combat aircraft; and a fully integrated airborne early warning and control system — an aircraft with a radar that can cover a large combat zone. The DRDO-developed radar system has been fitted on a Brazilian Embraer aircraft and has made its first flight in Brazil.


  1. Hi Ajai

    Any update on launch of INS Kolkata?

  2. Did somebody say Agni 6?????
    Mr Shukla, Can you plz share some info on the same. Hope you had a gud time in AP.

    Any news on F-INSAS gun selection??? Heard OFB has developed a new one, much better than others??
    Kindly enlighten us..

  3. The DRDO should get the budget allotment as required by them. Otherwise what are the words like R&D efforts, indigenization etc. in the fields of defense.

  4. @Ajai_Shukla: Agni-6 whats that ?

  5. 15 years ago none of these systems existed... 15 years later most of the ones mentioned will exist!

  6. Hello colonel,

    Hope you had a pleasant and fruitful time in AP. Hope you would share some of your experiences and insight about AP.

    Our various departments in DRDO seem to be doing some excellent R&D work and also delivering workable products.

    Is is wise to spend billions buying foreign products, indirectly helping foreign companies with their R&D while lamenting on lack of funds for our own indigenous effort?

    GOI and MOD have yet to sanction the amount needed to launch LCA Mk2 and the AMCA.

    Knowing the snail pace mobility of our beaurocracy and the outlandish requirements of the Army and Air Force, wouldn't it be prudent to start R&D on the above immediately taking into account the Chinese are already testing a 5th generation stealth fighter in the form of J-20?

    Would like to get your insight into the progress of the second conventional submarine project and the effort to put an Indian astronaut in orbit around the moon, taking into account the Chinese are already making preparations to land their astronauts on the moon as well as to send women astronauts into space.

  7. http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/ reports A5 testing in april ...and that target is international waters near Australia ..isnt that almost full range???
    iirc there was a discussion on this blog regarding the necessity to test till actual full range....

  8. Without wide spreading our R&D area of work and insuring fluid budget allocation supplemented by exponential increase in manufacturing capability, we will never get near countering China, let alone becoming superpower of any kind.

  9. @sleeper & Anon@14.17:


    This is a snapshot of DRDO newsletter, May 2011. This was the first time Agni-6 was mentioned in public.
    But the DRDO soon removed this version and uploaded a new version which omitted this reference.
    Definitely looking forward to an article on the same at Broadsword.

  10. The govt does not provide enough funds for R&D and it misappropriates funds on useless things like farmer loan waiver. 68,000 crores "farmer loan waiver" saw the tax payers maney clear of the bad debts of the banks which were caused by over inflated interest rates and no credit profiling. Socialism bailing out capitalism. Taxpayers money going to private banks courtesy our corrupt govt.


Recent Posts

Page 1 of 10412345...104Next >>Last