New Delhi. 25 November 2016. There are 13 major Mission Mode (MM) projects of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) lagging behind schedule. This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to MK Raghavan in Lok Sabha .

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) :  Phase-II, Dec 2008 , Dec 2015 (Under revision) Technological challenges/ Embargoes Flight test program restrictions.

Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Navy : Phase-I) Mar 2010, Dec 2014 (Under revision)Due to co-dependence of basic infrastructure in Air Force and Naval versions, Un-anticipated complexities faced in structural design.

Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)  ‘Rustom-II’ and Development of Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chitradurga Aug 2016, Feb 2017. Delays are due to design modifications/iterations in sub-systems which led to development delays,  availability of certified LRUs and associated software, export denial of critical items and delay in procurement of imported payloads, completion of ATR facility at Chitradurga.

155 mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Sep 2015, Mar 2017. Delay in realization of ordnance and recoil system, delays in placing supply orders due to procedural issues for manufacturing of sub-systems.

Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), Apr 2011, Jun 2017. Delay in finalizing operational requirements & platforms including additional requirements by IAF.

D-Jag System (Internal RWJ System for Jaguar DARIN III Upgrade Aircraft)Jun 2015, Dec 2016.  Critical changes in main systems are causing the delay.

D-29 System (Internal EW system for MiG-29 Upgrade Aircraft) Dec 2012, Dec 2016. Delay in structural modifications tasks for MiG-29 aircraft being done at RAC MiG, Moscow.

EW Systems for Capital Ships, Aircrafts & Helicopter of Indian Navy titled as ‘Samudrika’, Jan 2016, Jul 2017. Change in scope of ship-borne segment of the programme to include UETs and EA coverage from 180o to 360o for Project ‘Shakti’ caused the delay.

Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM)May 2011, Dec 2017. Mid-way major upward revision of performance requirements by IAI (Design Authority). Number of new technologies developed first time. Number of technical iterations required to establish Transmit-Receive Module technologies for Radar. Design challenges in development of sub-systems by DRDO and foreign partner also caused the delay.

Air to Air Missile System: Astra Sep 2012, Dec 2016. Technology/ design challenges and  Delay in availability of critical components were reasons for the excess time being taken.

Kaveri Engine for LCA Dec 1996, Dec 2009(Under revision). Development effort was underestimated, due to lack of experience. Kaveri Core (Kabini) Engine development was initially not envisaged but added later based on experience of other engine houses.  Flying test bed trials was added as an additional project milestone as recommended by IAF and CEMILAC. Delay in delivery of critical components & systems was due to lack of infrastructure for engine & component/ system level testing in India and  1998 US Sanctions.

Advanced Light Weight Torpedo Aug 2013, Dec 2017. Indigenization development of 120 kW war shot battery has taken time by the development agency HBL, Hyderabad. Non availability of testing platform and restriction in time slots for sea trials created the delay.

Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MR-SAM) Sep 2016, Mar 2017.  During the development stage, systems/sub-systems has undergone multiple iterations during design, development and hardware realization. Changes in system configuration and three verification flight trials included (not originally in the scope), have been reasons for delay.

Government has not constituted any Commission for the same, however, DRDO has already undertaken the following steps to complete on going projects on-time.

  • Consortium approach is being used for design, development and fabrication of critical components.
  • Three-tier project monitoring approach has been instituted.
  • Project Monitoring Review Committee (PMRC) and Project Appraisal and Review Committee (PARC) meetings are held regularly to monitor the progress of ongoing projects.
  • Concurrent engineering approach has been adopted in technology intensive projects to minimize time-lag between development and production of the systems.
  • Information Technology and modern management techniques are being applied.
  • Encouraging joint funding by users to ensure their commitment towards earliest completion.
  • Organisational re-structuring:
  • Decentralization of authority and responsibility with Director Generals (DGs) of Technology Clusters and Directors of laboratories/ establishments
  • High empowerment and accountability.
  • Involvement of Services & Production Partners during development process and reviews – to know their views in advance including finalisation of GSQRs.