Saraswat will succeed M Natarajan, who will retire on September 1 2009. Presently working as the Chief Controller Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems) since November 2005, Saraswat is credited for the development of the country’s strategic and tactical missile systems including Agni and Prithvi series missiles and the under development indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence shield.
Holding a doctorate in combustion engineering, Saraswat started his career in DRDO in 1972 at Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad and was responsible for the development of the country’s first Liquid Propulsion Engine.
"He played a key role in the development of a number of critical missile technologies that were under denial due to Missile Technology Control regime, thus making India self-reliant in missile technologies," the officials said.
A Padma Shri, Saraswat has received several awards including Prof Jai Krishna Memorial Award of Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and National Systems Gold Medal by Systems Society of India.