Hyderabad: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman G Satheesh Reddy said India has the world’s longest Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System with a range of more than 48 kms. Final trials were being conducted and very soon it would be inducted into the armed forces, he said. “This was one technology, which was eluding us earlier but we could develop our own kind now. I can proudly say this is world longest range gun,” said Satheesh Reddy here on Thursday.

He was delivering an online lecture on “Accelerating Defence R&D for Atmanirbhar Bharat” as part of Administrative Staff College of India’s public lecture series. Speaking on the occasion, he said India was set to join the ranks of key countries in the world in the coming years in defence products manufacturing and exports.

Already, steps have been taken in this direction. Over the past few decades, research has shown that India has achieved self-sufficiency in the manufacture of missiles, radars, aircraft, army vehicles, and communication systems, he said. Similarly, India was among the top countries in the world to have ballistic missile defence systems. After United States, Russia and China, India has emerged as the country equipped with the system of direct demolition of satellites.

“Gradually, we are moving from importing to exporting defence products. It is our endeavour to develop all the systems to be equipped with AI technology,” said Satheesh Reddy, revealing that the BrahMos updated system was successfully launched again on Thursday.

Lot of activity was being taken up in the cyberspace solutions. One cannot be ignorant of this space and to ensure secured solutions, lot of things, including hardware, software and operating systems are being developed, he said. “Similarly, we are encouraging private companies to manufacture defence products. DCPP (Development from Production – Partner) policy was brought,” Sateesh Reddy said, adding already a few missile and bomb manufacturing projects have been sanctioned to some private companies in Hyderabad.

This apart, nearly two thousand companies were currently in the manufacturing of defence products across the country.

He said as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions, five specialised laboratories were set up at five locations, including Hyderabad, to encourage young scientists under the age of 35 to further promote research in the defence sector. ASCI Chairman Padmanabhayya said that only one per cent of GDP was spent on research. He said the DRDO had a crucial role to play in strengthening the national defence system.