Well known aerospace scientist, G Satheesh Reddy (55) the new Secretary, Department of Defence (R&D) & Chairman, Defence Research & Development Organisation ((DRDO), will be one of the younger scientists to be elevated to the country’s strategic leadership role.

The energetic, Satheesh Reddy, has been consistently contributing to the country’s missile programme, with his expertise in guidance and navigation technologies. He will be heading the DRDO with a budget of around Rs 15, 000 crore and over 7500 scientists working in about 50 national labs across the country.

With a two year term, Satheesh Reddy has his job cut out with the NDA Government negotiating and finalising many, multi billion dollar contracts with foreign companies and governments, pressure on DRDO from user and industry to deliver on many delayed projects and motivate a huge force to develop indigenous technologies against growing criticism and manpower challenges.

In a way Satheesh has been a fast climber in the DRDO hierarchy through a combination of hard work and closeness to working with top leaders like APJ Abdul Kalam, VK Saraswat and Avinash Chander. He became a distinguished scientist at age 49 in 2014. He also attracted criticism in recent time from some quarters for his association with politico-scientific directed events.

Leadership qualities

His leadership qualities got him to to the role of Director of the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), just around 50. He rose to become Scientic Advisor to Raksha Mantri in 2015 at the age of 52. In between he led critical missions of the missile programme. He joined DRDO in 1986.

Reacting to his appointment Satheesh Reddy said “Our main focus will be to work towards fulfilling the mission mandated for DRDO — that is to develop, best in class systems for the country’s defence”.

My immediate focus will be to ensure that the entire Organisation will put in its best efforts to meet the technological challenges, develop indigenous state of art products to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces and strengthen ‘Make in India’, Satheesh added.

A graduate and post graduate & doctorate in engineering from JNTU Anantapur & Hyderabad respectively, Satheesh Reddy is credited with contributions towards indigenous design, development, deployment of diversified Missiles & Strategic Systems, Guided Weapons, Avionics technologies and for sustained efforts in advancement of Aerospace technologies & Industries in India, a DRDO release said

Satheesh Reddy is actively involved in the country's fully indigenous BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) programme and developed the mission critical technologies for Long Range Agni-5 missile. As Programme Director, he successfully developed the Medium Range SAMs and achieved a streak of successes in the maiden missions. He is also involved in the development of the country’s first 1000kg class Guided Bomb and laid foundation for Long Range Smart Guided Weapons.

A fellow of the top international and Indian Science & Engineering Academies, Satheesh Has received many awards and accolades. These include the firs IEI-IEEE((USA) joint award for engineering excellence and the Silver Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, London.