DRDO director-general M Natarajan, speaking to FE, said : Our budget for research is only 6.1% of the total defence budget which is around $17.4 billion, while in China the R&D expenditure is 20% of its total defence outlay at $29 billion. In Israel, the R&D expenditure is 9% of its total defence budget at $7.9 billion and in the US it is 16% of its total defence budget at $420 billion. We feel that the R&D expenditure for defence services in India should be adequately raised.
Natarajan said that DRDO was concentrating largely on applied research to directly meet its needs. But the organisation also need researches in basic sciences which are relevant for developing suitable technologies to cater to the needs of the defence forces. We have a strength of 7000 in-house researchers and want to double our strength by funding 7000 researchers in basic sciences from the universities. At present we are outsourcing for 60% of our research work, he said.
Natarajan was here in Vishakhapatam for the 95th Indian Science Congress.
DRDO has plans to develop new aerostats, new missiles for tactical deployment and strategies, a range of sensors.