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V K Saraswat to be new DRDO chief

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Dr. V K Saraswat
Dr. V K Saraswat
Eminent missile scientist Vijay Kumar Saraswat will be the new head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an official press release said here today.

He will take over from Mr M Natarajan on September 1 as the Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director-General, DRDO.

Dr Saraswat, 60, is at present a Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller, Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems) in the DRDO, a position he was appointed to in November, 2005.

Dr Saraswat, who has a doctorate in Propulsion Engineering, started his career in DRDO in 1972 with the development of India's first Liquid Propulsion Engine, DEVIL. He established facilities for design, production and testing of engines and the RCS technologies for the missile applications.

He has spearheaded the development of the country's strategic and tactical missile systems, including the Agni series of strategic missiles covering a range of upto 3000 kms.

As Project Director of Prithvi, he steered the design, development, production and induction of the country's 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 Programme 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).

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.

The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1988 for his outstanding contribution to the nation.

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.

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