Christopher was on Thursday night appointed chief of the premier defence research agency for two years by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The DRDO was without a full-time chief for around four months ever since Avinash Chander was unceremoniously removed on January 31.

Christopher was heading the Bengaluru-based Centre for Airborne Systems and the project to develop an airborne early warning and control system before his new appointment. Earlier, DRDO chief was also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, but the post has now been split.

Missile scientist G.S. Reddy was appointed as the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for two years.

DRDO scientists and officials welcomed the appointment, saying that functional difficulties have cropped up due to the absence of a full-time DRDO chief. "It is a welcome step; without a full-time chief cost DRDO in the last four months; impacted the work as coordination was suffering," a senior DRDO official told reporters.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently stated that the absence of a full-time DRDO chief was being compensated with more powers to cluster heads.

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