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DRDO ready to compete with foreign companies: DG

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KOLKATA (PTI): In the wake of FDI reforms in defence sector, the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday said it was not only ready to compete with foreign companies but also export its products.

The government had on Monday announced opening up the defence sector by allowing foreign companies to own up to 100 per cent equity.

"Someday there may be a possibility that a big company with a 100 per cent FDI may come with their technology and may be a competition to us. And we are rearing to go for competition," Director General, DRDO, S Christopher told reporters in Kolkata.

The DRDO, functioning under the Ministry of Defence, undertakes design and development of products and technologies to suit the requirement of the three wings of the Indian armed forces.

On the government's thrust on 'Make in India', Christopher said it was a bonanza as far as DRDO was concerned.

"DRDO technology is made in India. It is a huge boost," he said, adding they have even asked the government several times for exporting DRDO products.

"In case if I am not up to your level, there are several other countries which are poorer and they are willing to have the product we have," the DRDO chief said, adding they can export products which have suffered because of environmental conditions.

When asked about the repeated delays in execution of various projects by the DRDO, he said when those programmes and projects were taken up they never realised the complexity.

"If I have said seven years (for delivering a product), then at the end of seven years someone will knock at my door.

So that is the problem of miscalculation of number of years," the DRDO DG said.

The second issue, he noted, was during the gestation period the requirement of the defence forces increases sometimes and therefore the product development takes more time.

"A new product takes lot of time even in other countries.

When you take submarines it has taken not less than three decades. Air-borne warning system has taken not less than 15 years even in the US. So when compared to that we are also in a similar kind of situation," he said.

"These are areas where we are stuck. We can't give lame excuses. We are explaining these to the government," he said.

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