DRDO: Leading The Way in Taking India’s Defense Strength to New Heights

An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic...

An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Nungsunglemba Ao
The author is Director (PR), DPR, Ministry of defense, Govt. of India

New Delhi, April 15, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) DRDO… India’s premier Defense Research and Development organization.... an organization on the cutting edge of defense technology with a mission to design and develop state-of-the-art defense systems and technologies and to provide technological solution to India’s defense Services. The technology spectrum under the DRDO banner is wide-ranging and versatile.

Enhanced focus on self-reliance during recent years has led DRDO to enter a new phase of delivery of state of the art systems and critical technologies to the Services, taking the self-reliance index from 30% to over 55%.

DRDO’s prowess in strategic systems led the way with a series of milestones achieved and touched new heights with the spectacular maiden launch of India’s long range strategic missile Agni 5. Agni 3 joined Agni 1, Agni 2 & ‘Prithvi two’ to further strengthen India’s strategic might, while Agni 4 and Agni 5 are being readied for the Armed Forces’ arsenal. Over 70 launches of major missile systems went on to demonstrate DRDO’s strength in this crucial sector.

Production clearance of Bo5 underwater system after a series of successful trials incorporating many novel technologies, proving the reliability of the system, was another breakthrough.

INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine is gearing up for seaward trials.

The long range cruise missile, Nirbhay had its maiden flight proving the required critical technologies.

In the direction of establishing a credible two layer Ballistic Missile defense system; a series of successful interceptions, mostly, with direct hit, demonstrated its reliability.

In the arena of tactical systems – production and induction of Akash, the medium range air defense system with multi-target, multi-directional capability is another shining achievement.

Brahmos, the best supersonic cruise missile in operation, designed to be launched from land, air, sea and sub-sea platforms, with its high speed and precision of attack, became the preferred weapon. Its block II version with target discrimination capability and block III version with steep diving capability even at supersonic speeds were developed making it a deadly weapon.

Prahar, a novel, highly maneuverable precision strike, Surface-to- Surface tactical missile capable of being fired in salvo mode is all set to extend the reach of our artillery fire to over 150 Km, filling the gap between PINAKA rockets and Prithvi Missile.

Integration of mission systems with the much needed AEW&CS platform fitted with indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array radar antenna was yet another significant achievement of DRDO. The systems are undergoing comprehensive flight tests.

Avionics upgrades of MiG 27, Jaguar and Sukhoi-30 aircraft were indigenously accomplished, significantly enhancing their combat capabilities.

India’s first indigenously designed & developed aircraft engine Kaveri is undergoing Certification Tests after series of successful flight trials. Successful development of indigenous Wankel rotary engine for UAVs and its flight demonstration to power “UAV Nishant” was another significant achievement.

Two regiments of Main Battle Tank Arjun became proud possession of Indian Army. Arjun Mark-II, developed in a record time, with about 70 improved features, has entered advanced phase of User Trials.

A number of Battlefield support systems including Armoured Amphibious Dozer, Armoured Engineering Recce Vehicle and Tracked Armoured Ambulance were developed and led to production.

Pinaka rocket launcher entered the operational command of the Indian Army, giving a boost to their fire power. Pinaka II, with longer range is undergoing trials. Thermobaric ammunition capable of delivering a devastating, simultaneous fragmentation, Thermal and blast effect has been developed for MBT Arjun to further boost its firepower.

A new Modular Bridging System capable of yielding single span of up to 46 meters and capable of bearing load up to 70 ton was developed and is undergoing user trials.

In the area of naval sensors, very high degree of self-reliance has been achieved with design development, and induction of sonars meeting needs of Indian Navy. Thus USHUS an Advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated sonar system, NAGAN, an active cum passive towed array sonar & HUMSA NG, a new generation hull mounted sonar for ships; were integrated with their respective platforms.

Among the weapon systems, VARUNASTRA, a heavy weight torpedo, underwent extensive sea trials on its way to induction.

Radars and electronic warfare systems has emerged as yet another strong area. DRDO’s technological strength in this highly security sensitive and critical area is exemplified by the development, production and acceptance of WLR, an advanced electronically scanned pulse Doppler weapon locating radar; 3D TCR, a 3 dimensional tactical control radar; Bharani, a Low Level Lightweight Radar and ASLESHA, a 3D Low Level Lightweight Radar.

Completion and acceptance of Varuna, a modern ESM system for Navy with capability to intercept and process all modern radars including LPI radars was another step in achieving self-reliance in the field of Electronic Warfare.

A series of secure communication systems based on Software Defined Radio, ranging from hand held sets, to aircraft and ship based systems have been developed. The compact system is capable of operating on multiple frequency bands, avoiding need for multiple systems.

Acceptance of light weight integrated Multifunction Sight, for surveillance and speedy engagement of targets and an electro-optical fire control system EON-51 for Navy was yet another achievement.  (Show thermal imager, laser range finder, CCD camera, a global positioning system and a digital magnetic compass in image).

An advanced Holographic Sight facilitating accurate aiming with both eyes open, developed for INSAS rifle was accepted by Army. Design and fabrication of System on Chip (SoC) for mission computers and its integration with On-Board Computers for major missile systems and aeronautical platforms, was another significant milestone.

DRDO has always played a pioneering role in the development of special materials for defense requirements. Recent achievements include production of light armour for Mi 17 helicopter and more than 30,000 tons of DMR steel for Indian Navy. The setting up of Titanium sponge production facility at KMML is a boost for the country’s aeronautical, missile and space programs.

Alive to the needs of emerging war scenarios DRDO has taken up development of Unmanned War Machines as a major thrust area and has made significant achievements, including the delivery of state-of-the-art Remotely Operated Vehicle Daksh, an invaluable asset for bomb disposal, series of successful flights of long endurance UAV Rustom -1 in its final configuration and demonstration of an advanced Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. Series of mini and micro UAVs have been developed.

Bulk production orders were received for Submarine Escape Suite for Navy, Combat Free Fall System for Paratroopers and Lightweight Helicopter Oxygen System for Indian Air Force. On-board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) has been developed.

Development of Solar Powered Modular Green Shelters was another significant achievement in supporting our soldiers.

Series production of Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS) for comprehensive evaluation of candidates was commenced and systems were handed over to users.

The NBC Recce Vehicle designed for ‘surveillance and on-site collection & analysis of samples from contaminated environment’, was handed over to the users.

As spin-offs for civil sector and social cause, Bio-digesters developed for environment friendly disposal of human excreta in extreme cold regions of high altitudes were adapted for Railway coaches and Lakshadweep islands. The technology has been selected to equip over two lakh Gram Panchayats with bio-toilets.

The sonar technologies developed for detection of ships and underwater threats were innovatively employed to develop Sanjeevini, a life detector to locate victims trapped under debris or a bore-well and ‘Tarangini’, a portable device to measure depth and bottom hardness in water bodies.

All these endeavors have a single-minded focus: to transform India into a world-class center for design development and production of defense systems and technologies, ensuring freedom from denial regimes and external controls.

DRDO is leading the way in taking India’s defense strength to new heights in making: One of 4 countries with multi level strategic deterrence capability; One of 5 countries with own BMD Program; One of 6 countries with own Main Battle Tank; One of 7 countries with own 4th Gen Combat Aircraft.

(PIB Features)