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NEARLY HALF OF DRDO’S ‘MISSION MODE’ PROJECTS HAVE BEEN DELAYED

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on 55 “mission mode” projects as on date, and nearly half of these are delayed. To overcome delays, the government said, it has taken steps such as increased frequency of project reviews, increased involvement of services and production partners during development process and reviews, and revision in delegation of financial powers.

The delayed projects are in the areas of air droppable container, simulator, tactical radios, light machine gun, air independent propulsion system, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS MK-2, torpedoes, the naval LCA, surface to air missile, electronic warfare system for fighter aircraft and ship, advanced towed artillery gun system, and unmanned aerial vehicle, it said.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in a written response to a query in Rajya Sabha on Monday said that “as on date, the DRDO is working on 55 mission mode projects out of which 23 projects are delayed”.

Of the 55 “mission mode” projects, costs of 12 projects have been enhanced, he said in his response.

“However, cost escalation may not be treated as loss, as in certain cases cost has been increased for change/enhancement of scope. The projects are in the areas of cruise missile, infantry combat vehicle command, rocket, air independent propulsion system, periscope, advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS), TEJAS MK-2, surface to air missile, torpedoes, TEJAS Navy, electronic warfare system,” he said.

The response also said steps have been taken by the government to overcome such delays.

These steps include mandatory focus on pre-project activity, increased frequency of project reviews, increased involvement of services and production partners during development process and reviews, and revision in delegation of financial powers for projects or procurement.

Bhatt in his response said during January 2018 to February 2023, 35 “mission mode” projects have been successfully completed by the DRDO.

These projects are in areas of radios, ESM LRUDs, software, landing gear, CBRN recce vehicle, full mission simulator, bomb, radar, surface to air missile, navigation systems, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system, air to air missile and LCA, the government said.

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