The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will accord priority to developing systems to meet the challenges of terrorism and low-intensity conflict, which is emerging as the most potent threat to security, DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat said here on Saturday.
At the same time, the DRDO will continue taking up projects for which technology has been denied by other countries. He indicated that the organisation does not expect foreign assistance in developing high energy weapon systems, specific applications of nano-technology and complete network-centric warfare systems.
He was speaking to journalists ahead of the three-day annual DRDO directors’ conference next week, where low-intensity conflict will come up for discussion.
Several systems for low-intensity conflicts, such as micro unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance systems for penetrating thick foliage, are futuristic in nature. Others will be developments over existing systems, such as nuclear biological and chemical defence, soldier-centric technologies and systems, and adapting technologies for coastal surveillance.
The move was sparked off by a DRDO-authored study which indicated that low-intensity conflicts will be the dominant mode of waging wars over the next 50 to 100 years. Therefore, it was natural for the DRDO to develop technologies, Dr. Saraswat said.
“It will be a concerted programme, wherein we will develop armour and communication systems to enable the soldier operate more effectively in a low-intensity conflict scenario. We already have the capabilities, which were spin-offs of our strategic weapons programmes, and stress will be on indigenisation.”
These systems, he explained, would bring tangible benefits to the soldier on the ground by improving the lethality of his weapon systems, better armour to protect him from terrorists’ fire, state-of-the-art and easily portable communication systems, sophisticated jammers to cut off communication among adversaries and tablets for providing sustenance during patrols and seek and destroy operations.
The meet, to be inaugurated by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, will be attended by National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.