Dr VK Saraswat
Distinguished Missile Scientist of the country, Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Former Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, who had actively associated with the development of various missile programmes, viz., Devil, Prithvi-I, Prithvi-II, Dhanush, Anti-Balllistic Missile Systems, etc. Dr Saraswat graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and doctorate in Propulsion Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He has specialized in Missile Technologies, Rocket Propulsion and Technology Management. Dr Saraswat started his career in DRDO at DRDL in July 1972, with development of India’s first Liquid Propulsion Engine, Devil. He established facilities for design, production & testing of engines and the RCS technologies for the missile applications. As Project Director, he steered the design, development, production and induction of first indigenous Surface–to–Surface missile system Prithvi-I of 150 km range and Prithvi-II of 250 km range, into Armed Forces. Naval variant of Prithvi - Dhanush350 km, ship-launched missile, with very high terminal accuracy has been successfully developed for strategic role. Prithvi Missile occupies a pride place in the inventories of all the three Armed Forces including Strategic Force Command.
He has been honoured with the third highest Civilian Award Padma Bhushan for his outstanding contributions in Science and Technology, by the Indian Government.
As Director, Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad from 2001-2005, Dr Saraswat conceptualized and established facilities for building Technologies for Ring Laser Gyro (RLG), Fibre Optic Gyro (FOG)- based Inertial navigation System, Electro- Mechanical Actuators (EMA), Electro- Hydraulic Actuators, Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS)-based sensors, Rate Tables to calibrate navigation systems for missile guidance & control. He conceptualized and established facilities for development of micro and nano sensors for future avionics. All these technologies are denied by developed countries under Missile Technologies Control Regime (MTCR). With the motto of self-reliance in defence technologies through indigenisation, he established productionisation of many critical technologies with PSUs and industry. Dr Saraswat took over charge of CCR&D(MSS) at DRDO HQrs, Delhi on 01 November 2005 in addition to Programme Director ‘AD’. He made contributions of high distinction in the country’s strategic programme for Special Weapon Systems. He has been the architect for integration of Strategic systems and delivery systems. With his visionary approach, a multi-layered, secure, strategic communication network has been fielded and made operational, in a record time. The systems conceived by him have been successfully designed, evaluated and operationalised.
As Programme Director ‘AD’, he embarked on a challenging, futuristic Air Defence Programme encompassing development of complex Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and critical technologies such as Radars, C4I Systems and integration of battle management resources into a national authority. He has spearheaded the concept of theatre defence systems and integration of national Air Defence elements. He demonstrated the interception of a incoming hostile Ballistic Missile in exo-atmospheric regions in November 2006 & March 2009 and endo endoatmospheric regions in December 2007, using indigenous Interceptor and various ground system elements developed indigenously. This has made the nation proud and put India among the world leaders, in the field of Ballistic Missile Defence.
Dr Saraswat has been conferred Padma Shree by the Government of India in 1998. At international level, he has been elected as Member of International Academy of Engineering, Russia. He is recipient of many prestigious national level awards including Prof Jai Krishna Memorial Award of Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE)-2009 and Outstanding Indian Award from One India One People in 2006. He is the recipient of almost all top-level awards of DRDO e.g. Technology Leadership Award (2007), Path breaking Research and Outstanding Technology development Award (2006), Performance Excellence Award (1998), Technology Transfer Award (1996) and Scientist of the Year Award in 1987.
In addition, he has received awards from several professional institutions/ bodies. As a professional recognition, he has been awarded Doctor of Science (Honorius Causa) in Science & Technology by Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat. He is member of many professional institutions.
He conceptualized Hypersonic Test Vehicle based on his research interest in scramjet propulsion. His vision for DRDO includes develop DRDO into an acclaimed Centre for International Defence technologies in collaboration with academia and national laboratories, develop and produce weapon systems in collaboration with industry in ready-touse condition for Armed Forces, develop defence technologies and systems for space security and space control, develop new concept weapons – directed energy, kinetic energy, new-anti personnel weapons, and develop technologies and products for low intensity conflict.
At present, he is DAE Homi Bhabha Chair.