Saraswat Named New DRDO Chief

The government decided yesterday that VK Saraswat, Chief Controller (Missiles & Strategic Systems) at India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation, will be the next DG of DRDO, and its attendant office as Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister. As I’ve posted earlier, Dr Saraswat is virtually synonymous with the Prithvi ballistic missile programme, though his recent renown is owed more to India’s markedly successful anti-ballistic missile programme, Programme Air Defence (PAD) that has flourished during its test-phase overseen virtually single-handedly by him at DRDO Headquarters in Delhi. Losing out in the sweepstakes is Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace, though it appears the government wants him to focus his energies on the hypersonic cruise missile programme. Here’s the official release that came in today:

Eminent missile scientist Dr VK Saraswat will be the new head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will take over from M Natarajan on September 1, 2009 as the Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director-General, DRDO. Dr. Saraswat is presently a Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems) in the DRDO.

Padmashri Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat spearheaded the development of country’s strategic and tactical missile systems including the ‘Agni’ series of strategic missiles covering a range up to 3,000 kms. Dr. Saraswat, a Ph.D in Combustion Engineering, started his career in DRDO in 1972 at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad and was responsible for the development of country’s first Liquid Propulsion Engine. As Project Director ‘Prithvi’’, he steered the design, development, production and induction of the first indigenous Surface-to-Surface missile system into the armed forces. The successful testing of ‘Dhanush’ missile on board a moving ship with high terminal accuracy brought a new dimension in the national defence capability. As Program Director AD (Air Defence), Dr. Saraswat pioneered the concept of theatre defence system and integration of national Air Defence elements. He was Director, Research Centre Imarat (RCI) before taking over as CCR&D(MSS) in November, 2005.

Dr Saraswat is a forerunner in the development of number of critical missile technologies that were under denial due to the Missile Technology Control Regime, thus making India self-reliant in Missile Technologies. He has headed various committees of national importance. Dr. Saraswat has received several awards including Prof Jai Krishna Memorial Award of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and National Systems Gold Medal by the Systems Society of India. International Academy of Engineering, Russia elected Dr. Saraswat as a Member of the Academy and honoured him as an Academician.

8 thoughts on “Saraswat Named New DRDO Chief”

  1. He was chosen because he has been working on Indian only projects. The Bhramos unknown russian influence on Pillai made him a weak candidate, despite saying that india should take over the venture, buyout Russia. This made Saraswat's CV look better.

  2. Hi guys,
    Can we say that Pillai went too far saying India should take over the BrahMos venture?
    Personally I foung his words really surprising and almost shocking given DRDO's present skills concerning engine and seekers development.

    There is something I don't understand: the Indian side of the venture has often tried to convince the opinion of the negative nature of the Russian influence, notably concerning export efforts. A few days ago, the general manager of NPO of Russia clearly said that "to date, there are no 'third country' contracts for the BrahMos as a consequence of the Indian Government's declared intentions to first arm its army, air force and navy with these missiles." … So what's the truth?? Is BrahMos export potential a real subject of polemics?

  3. I don't agree with the fact that Saraswat only worked for India specific projects or Brahmos made Dr.Pillai a weak candidate. Dr. Saraswat is one of the finest leaders in DRDO. He is a great motivator. He is well known for his ability to handle multiple projects. Above all, he DELIVERED SYSTEMS. He never made false promises. DRDO will achieve new heights under his leadership. I wish him all the best.

  4. 14th, May, 2010.
    On 15th May 2010, Scientific adviser V.K.Saraswat, DRDO is coming to NSTL.
    He is coming to NSTL to inaguarte ETC(Environmental Test Centre). For this purpose Director of NSTL Dr. V. Buhanga Rao is given a lan message to the employeers to don't allow the Casual employees working in NSTL under contract basis. Actually the work was done by the casuals. But when the Higher grade Officers came to the NSTL these casuals are not allowing. Mean while tommorrow some of the casuals are entering into the NSTL but they should not come out of the room and these casual workers should be far away from the Sceintific Adviser V.K.Saraswat of DRDO. These casuals are used to work. In this NSTL Casuals employees are the main workers to work. Permanent employees are just enjoying the life. Permanent employees are doing their personnal works in the office time. In this NSTL even B.Tech, Diploma, ITI holders should give tea and coffee to the scientists and staff (Permanent Employees). Try to do enquiry for more details in NSTL, Vizag.

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