Antony lauds DRDO for providing strategic defence to India

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today lauded the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) for its crucial role in providing the strategic defence to India with suitable delivery systems and asserted that the criticism over ''time and cost overrun'' in many projects was not fair.

In his address at the launch of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the DRDO here, the Defence Minister said DRDO was an organisation which had a modest beginning with a mission to advise the services in defence technologies.

''Today, it has evolved to ensure the strategic defence as well as provide state-of-the art tactical weapon systems. No nation will be willing to part with strategic defence technologies,'' Mr Antony said.

He said tactical systems such as Main Battle Tank (Arjun), Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas), a family of radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars, torpedoes, armaments and missiles have also been successfully developed and many of these were being delivered to the armed forces.

''The recent success of DRDO in launch of interceptor missile and Agni-III has taken our country to elite club of a few developed nations with similar capability.'' Mr Antony said DRDO has achieved appreciable level of self reliance in NBC defence technologies and a large quantity of these products were already delivered to the defence forces.

Life support technologies and products developed by DRDO have significantly enhanced the health and operational efficiency of soldiers operating in extremes of environmental and operational conditions, he added.

These include high altitudes over the Himalayas, deserts of western borders, underwater, aerospace and low intensity conflict environments.

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