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Cabinet asks DRDO to accelerate military projects

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of long delays in its projects, the government today asked the premier research agency DRDO to accelerate the work on its major military development programmes and complete them in time.

The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was briefed by the DRDO on its major projects including the futuristic Agni-6 and the recently launched Agni-5 long-range missile programmes.

Agni IV. Image courtesy PIB

Agni IV. Image courtesy PIB

Sources said in New Delhi that during the presentation, the members of the CCS asked the DRDO to "accelerate" its projects in order to meet the requirement of the armed forces in a time-bound manner and from indigenous sources.

During the meeting, the DRDO was appreciated for its achievements in the missile development programmes especially the recent success of the Agni-5 and Agni-4 missile programmes, they said.

DRDO also informed the CCS that it has helped in enhancing indigenisation of military requirements up to 55 percent.

The premier research agency is also understood to have told the CCS about the issues faced by it in completion of several delayed projects including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the Long-range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM), Kaveri jet engine and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) projects.

Recently, the defence ministry had informed Parliament that several major DRDO projects were facing delays up to 12 years.

The AEW&C system had its initial date of completion as October 2011 but it was revised to March 2014 and the LR-SAM was to be completed originally by May 2011, but is now running behind by four years and will be completed by December 2015.

The Kaveri jet engine was supposed to have been completed by 1996, but has been given an extension of 13 years.

PTI