Defence Research and Development Organisation of India
Agency overview
Formed1958; 64 years ago (1958)
HeadquartersDRDO Bhavan, New Delhi
Motto"Strength's Origin is in Science"[1]
Employees30,000 (5,000 scientists)[2]
Annual budgetIncrease 11,375.50 crore (US$1.5 billion)(2021–22)[3]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Defence
Websitedrdo.gov.in

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) (IAST: Raksā Anūsandhān Evam Vikās Sangaṭhan) is the premier agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development in Ministry of Defence of the Government of India, charged with the military's research and development, headquartered in Delhi, India. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production of the Indian Ordnance Factories with the Defence Science Organisation. Subsequently, Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) was constituted in 1979 as a service of Group 'A' Officers / Scientists directly under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence.

With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India's largest and most diverse research organisation. The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the DRDS and about 25,000 other subordinate scientific, technical and supporting personnel.[5][6]

History

The DRDO was established in 1958 by amalgamating the Defence Science Organisation and some of the technical development establishments. A separate Department of Defence Research and Development was formed in 1980 which later on administered DRDO and its 50 laboratories/establishments. Most of the time the Defence Research Development Organisation was treated as if it was a vendor and the Army Headquarters or the Air Headquarters were the customers. Because the Army and the Air Force themselves did not have any design or construction responsibility, they tended to treat the designer or Indian industry at par with their corresponding designer in the world market. If they could get a MiG-21 from the world market, they wanted a MiG-21 from DRDO.[7]

DRDO started its first major project in surface-to-air missiles (SAM) known as Project Indigo in the 1960s. Indigo was discontinued in later years without achieving full success. Project Indigo led to Project Devil, along with Project Valiant, to develop short-range SAM and ICBM in the 1970s. Project Devil itself led to the later development of the Prithvi missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in the 1980s. IGMDP was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme between the early 1980s and 2007 for the development of a comprehensive range of missiles, including the Agni missile, Prithvi ballistic missile, Akash missile, Trishul missile and Nag Missile. In 2010, defence minister A. K. Antony ordered the restructuring of the DRDO to give 'a major boost to defence research in the country and to ensure effective participation of the private sector in defence technology'. The key measures to make DRDO effective in its functioning include the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission with the defence minister as its chairman.[8][9] The programmes which were largely managed by DRDO have seen considerable success with many of the systems seeing rapid deployment as well as yielding significant technological benefits. Since its establishment, DRDO has created other major systems and critical technologies such as aircraft avionics, UAVs, small arms, artillery systems, EW Systems, tanks and armoured vehicles, sonar systems, command and control systems and missile systems.

Organisation

Cluster Laboratories/Establishments

Source[10]
Laboratory Name Location Area of Research
Advanced Numerical Research & Analysis Group (ANURAG) Hyderabad Computational System
Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) Missiles & Strategic Systems
Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment (ADRDE) Agra Parachutes & Aerial Systems
Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) Bengaluru Aeronautics
Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) Chitradurga Unmanned & Manned Aircraft
Armaments Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune Armaments
Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) Bengaluru Air-Borne Systems
Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR) Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
Centre for Fire, Explosives & Environment Safety (CFEES) Delhi Explosives
Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) Hyderabad High Energy Weapons
Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) Chennai Combat Vehicles
Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) Bengaluru Avionics
Defence Bio-engineering & Electro-medical Laboratory (DEBEL) Bio-engineering
Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) Dehradun Electronics & Communication Systems
Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) Mysuru Food Research
Defence Institute of Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) Haldwani Bio-Energy
Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) Leh High Altitude Agro-animal Research
Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) Delhi Physiological and Biomedical Research
Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) Psychological Research
Defence Laboratory (DL) Jodhpur Camouflaging and Isotopes
Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) Hyderabad Electronic Warfare
Defence Materials & Stores Research & Development Establishment (DMSRDE) Kanpur Textiles, Polymers & Composites
Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) Hyderabad Metallurgy
Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE) Gwalior Chemical & Biological Warfare
Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) Hyderabad Missile & Strategic Systems
Defence Research Laboratory (DRL) Tezpur Health & Hygiene
Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL) Delhi Terrain Research
Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) Bengaluru Gas Turbine
High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune High Energy Materials, Explosive
Institute of Nuclear Medicines & Allied Sciences (INMAS) Delhi Nuclear Medicine
Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE) Dehradun Electronics & Optical Systems
Integrated Test Range (ITR) Balasore Missile & Strategic Systems
Joint Cipher Bureau (JCB) Delhi Signals Intelligence and Cryptanalysis
Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) Laser Technology
Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) Bengaluru Radars
Microwave Tube Research & Development Centre (MTRDC) Microwave Devices
Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) Ambernath Naval Materials
Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) Kochi Sonar Systems
Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL) Visakhapatnam Underwater Weapons
Programme Air Defence (PGAD) Hyderabad Missiles & Strategic Systems
Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) Balasore Armament Testing
Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad Missile & Strategic Systems
Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE(E)) Pune Engineering Systems & Weapon Platforms
Scientific Analysis Group (SAG) Kolkata Communications Security
Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) Chandigarh Snow and Avalanche
Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL) Delhi Solid State Materials, Devices and Sub-systems
Society for Integrated Circuit Technology and Applied Research (SITAR) Bengaluru, Hyderabad Semiconductor, Microelectromechanical Systems
Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) Chandigarh Ballistics
Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) Ahmednagar Wheeled Vehicles

As part of rationalization plan, Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL) was merged with Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) which is renamed into Defence Geological Research Establishment (DGRE). As of 2020, Advanced Numerical Research and Analysis Group (ANURAG) and Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC) are no longer functional as independent entities. The staffs are relocated at various DRDO labs in Hyderabad.[11] DRDO is planning to build a new research lab in Lucknow.[12]

Source[13]
Laboratory Name Location Area of Research
DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories Bengaluru Artificial Intelligence
Kolkata Asymmetric Technologies
Chennai Cognitive Technologies
Mumbai Quantum Technology
Hyderabad Smart Materials

HR Institutions

Source[10]
Institution Name Location Area
Centre for Personnel Talent Management (CEPTAM) Delhi Talent Management
Institute of Technology Management (ITM) Mussoorie Technology Management
Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) Delhi Human Resource

Other Institutions

Source[10]
Institution Name Location Area of Research
Advanced Centre for Energetic Materials (ACEM) Nashik High Energy Materials
Centre for Advanced Systems (CAS) Hyderabad Advanced Systems
Centre for Military Air-worthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) Bengaluru Airworthiness & Certification
Defence Scientific Information & Documentation Centre (DESIDOC) Delhi Information System and Documentation
DRDO Integration Centre (DIC) Panagarh Systems Integration
Institute for Systems Studies & Analyses (ISSA) Delhi Systems Analysis
Mobile Systems Complex (MSC) Pune Missile Systems
SF Complex (SFC) Jagdalpur Propellant

Centres of Excellence

Source[10]
Center Name Location Area of Research
DRDO Bharathiar University (DRDO-BU), Centre of Excellence Coimbatore Applied Psychology, Toxicology, Biological Sensors, Fuel Cell
Advanced Centre for Research in High Energy Materials (ACRHEM) Hyderabad Photonics, Material Science, High Energy Materials
Centre of Excellence in Cryptology Kolkata Cryptology
Centre of Millimeter Wave Semiconductor Devices and Systems Kolkata Millimeter Wave and Semiconductor
Advanced Centre for Excellence on Composite Materials (ACECM) Bengaluru Composite Materials
Research and Innovation Centre (RIC) Chennai Sensors and Microelectromechanical Systems
Centre of Propulsion Technology (CoPT) Mumbai Propulsion Technology
Jagdish Chandra Bose Centre for Advanced Technology (JCBCAT) Jadavpur Directed Energy Technologies, Robotics, Cognitive Technologies
Joint Advanced Technology Centre (JATC) Delhi Ballistics, Electromagnetism, Human–Computer Interaction, Electronic Textiles, Photonics, Plasmonics, Quantum Technology
Centre of Excellence in Systems Design and Engineering Mumbai Systems Design
North East Science and Technology Centre (NESTC) Aizawl Microelectromechanical Systems, Sensors, Degenerative Disease, Toxicology
Kalam Centre for Science and Technology (KCST) Jammu Computational System Security, Sensors

Projects

Aeronautics

Electronic countermeasure

Main article: Electronic countermeasure

Defence Laboratory Jodhpur in collaboration with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory developed an improved chaff material and chaff cartridge-118/I for the Indian Air Force to protect Indian military aircraft from radar jamming and deception.[15]

Other Hindustan Aeronautics programmes

HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) prototype
HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) prototype

Apart from the aforementioned upgrades, DRDO has also assisted Hindustan Aeronautics with its programmes. These include the HAL Dhruv helicopter and the HAL HJT-36. Over a hundred LRU (Line Replaceable Unit)'s in the HJT-36 have come directly from the LCA programme. Other duties have included assisting the Indian Air Force with indigenisation of spares and equipment. These include both mandatory as well as other items.

Unmanned aerial vehicles

The DRDO has also developed two unmanned aerial vehicles – the Nishant tactical UAV and the Lakshya (Target) Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).[16] The Lakshya PTA has been ordered by all three services for their gunnery target training requirements. Efforts are on to develop the PTA further, with an improved all digital flight control system, and a better turbojet engine.[17] The Nishant is a hydraulically launched short-ranged UAV for the tactical battle area. It is currently being evaluated by the Indian Navy and the Indian Paramilitary forces as well.

A scaled down model of TAPAS-BH-201 Model
A scaled down model of TAPAS-BH-201 Model

The DRDO is also going ahead with its plans to develop a new class of UAVs. These draw upon the experience gained via the Nishant programme, and will be substantially more capable. Referred to by the HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) and MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) designations. The MALE UAV has been tentatively named the Rustom,[18] and will feature canards and carry a range of payloads, including optronic, radar, laser designators and ESM. The UAV will have conventional landing and take off capability. The HALE UAV will have features such as SATCOM links, allowing it to be commanded beyond line of sight. Other tentative plans speak of converting the LCA into a UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), and weaponising UAVs.

DRDO ABHYAS at Chitradurga Aeronautical Test Range.
DRDO Ghatak

Main article: DRDO Ghatak

Ghatak, previously known as Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft (AURA) is a stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) of flying-wing concept powered by dry Kaveri engine variant. It is designed and developed for the Indian Air Force (IAF) that will be capable of releasing missiles, bombs and precision-guided munitions from its internal weapons bay.

Stealth Wing Flying Testbed (SWiFT)

A precursor project under active development to test various technologies for DRDO Ghatak and future unmanned wingman bomber program.[19]

Anti-drone warfare

D-4 System (D4S)

Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) as part of anti-drone warfare developed D-4 which uses data fusion coming from multiple sensors for drone detection and is equipped with dual countermeasure techniques. D-4 has a 360° radar coverage for detecting micro drones within a range of 4 km, a radio frequency (RF) detector to check RF communications in 3 km range and an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensor for visual identification within 2 km range. The RF and EO/IR sensor works in tandem for confirmation and verification of the target. This activates the first stage of countermeasure through RF/GNSS jammer to counter the incoming communication signals. It is part of the soft-kill framework. For second stage of countermeasure, D-4 comes equipped with a laser of range 150 m to 1 km which goes for the hard-kill. D-4 already demonstrated its capabilities to National Security Guard (NSG) and Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2020–21. It was first deployed during 2020 and again on 2021 Republic Day around New Delhi.[20][21] For 15 August celebration in 2021, D-4 system was deployed as part of counter drone strategy around Red Fort.[22]

DRDO has already transferred the technology to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for mass production and is now considering it for private sector industries.[21] On 31 August 2021, Indian Armed Forces signed deal with BEL to acquire static and road mobile D4S to enhance anti-drone capabilities.[23]

Under development
Drone detection and tracking system

Due to constant threat of UAV attacks, Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) is working on a new electro-optical drone detection system. The project is independent of what other DRDO labs are doing in anti-drone warfare domain especially the recently launched D-4 from LRDE. The IRDE system will be able to detect 4 feet long UAV flying at about 300 kmph from a distance of 3 km and a drone having a size of about 1 foot and flying at about 70 kmph from a distance of 2 km. The system will integrate thermographic camera, high-resolution video cameras, laser illuminators and laser range finders to detect and track rogue drones through electromagnetic and radio emission, reflection of microwave, infrared and visible light.

Since standalone systems and conventional air defense measures are insufficient to engage smaller drones, DRDO is planning to strengthen and build a web of network which will include multiple newly developed systems connected with the national airspace surveillance radars acting in unison for detecting, identifying, tracking and deploying anti-drone countermeasures such as soft or hard kill in case of emergency.[24]

Aerial Delivery System

CADS-500
CADS-500 dropped from An-32.
CADS-500 dropped from An-32.

Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) on 18 December 2021, successfully completed demonstration flight of controlled aerial delivery system from Antonov An-32 that can deliver 500 kg payload with an accuracy of less 100 m CEP within the targeted area using high performance Ram-air parachute. The system utilizes GPS and NavIC for satellite guidance, attitude and heading reference system and an onboard computing system that helps in autonomous trajectory correction using waypoint navigation. CADS-500 can be dropped from 7,600 m above mean sea level and can cover a distance of 30 km.[25][26]

Indigenisation efforts

DRDO has been responsible for the indigenisation of key defence stores and equipment. DRDO has assisted Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the IAF with the indigenisation of spares and assemblies for several aircraft. DRDO laboratories have worked in coordination with academic institutes, the CSIR and even ISRO over projects required for the Indian Air Force and its sister services. DRDO's infrastructure is also utilised by other research organisations in India. In the first ever initiative of its kind, DRDO has provided its patented Copper-Titanium (CuTi) alloy technology for commercial exploitation to a start-up company. The agreement between DRDO and Pahwa Metal Tech Pvt Ltd was signed on the sidelines of the Start Up India event at Delhi.[27]

Armaments

DRDO cooperates with the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board for producing its items. These have led to issues of marginal quality control for some items, and time-consuming rectification. Whilst these are common to the introduction of most new weapons systems, the OFB has had issues with maintaining the requisite schedule and quality of manufacture owing to their own structural problems and lack of modernisation. The DRDO has played a vital role in the development of this ability since the role of private organisations in the development of small arms and similar items has been limited. A significant point in case is the INSAS rifle which has been adopted by the Indian Army as its standard battle rifle and is in extensive service. There have been issues with rifle quality in use under extreme conditions in the heat, with the OFB stating that it will rectify these troubles with higher grade material and strengthening the unit. Prior troubles were also dealt with in a similar manner.[28] In the meantime, the rifle has found favour throughout the army and has been ordered in number by other paramilitary units and police forces.[29][30]

In recent years, India's booming economy has allowed the OFB to modernise with more state funding coming its way, to the tune of US$400 million invested during 2002–07.[31] The organisation hopes that this will allow it to modernise its infrastructure; it has also begun introducing new items, including a variant of the AK-47 rifles.[32]

The DRDO's various projects are:

Body armour

Bulletproof vest
Bulletproof vest

Due to use of hard steel bullet core also called Armour Piercing (AP) that is made from tungsten carbide for Kalashnikov rifles by banned terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment (DMSRDE) developed a new medium-sized light weight 9 kg bulletproof vest for the Indian Army in 2021 for counter insurgency operation with increasing protection level. The bulletproof vest conforms to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Front Hard Armour Panel (FHAP) was validated by Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL).[33][34]

Clothing

Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) developed triple layer modular extreme weather waterproof clothing for the Indian Armed Forces weighing under 4.5 kg. The insulation can provide body protection up to minus 50 degree Celsius at 30,000 feet with around wind velocity of 60 km per hour preventing hypothermia and minimising the risks of frostbite.[35]

Small arms

Man-portable ATGM launcher

DRDO has developed an indigenous 84 mm calibre, 7 kg lightweight recoilless resuable ATGM launcher for the Indian army which will replace the 14 kg Carl Gustav Mark-II launcher. The DRDO has made extensive use of composites in its construction, resulting in the reduced weight.[37]

Explosives

Chemical Kit for Detection of Explosives (CKDE)

A compact, low-cost and handy explosive detection kit has been designed and perfected for field detection of traces of explosives. The kit yields a colour reaction, based on which explosives can be detected in minutes. It is used for identification of all common military, civil and home-made explosive compositions, and is being used by Police and BSF for the detection of explosives.

Explosive Detection Kit (EDK)

In what has been termed a "reverse technology transfer",[38] the Explosive Detection Kit widely used in India by bomb detection squads and the armed forces since 2002, would be manufactured and sold in the US. The kit uses reagents to detect various chemicals present in explosives.[39]

RaIDer-X

High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) of DRDO in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal (IISER-B)[40] have developed a new explosive detection device called RaIDer-X (Rapid Identification Detector of eXplosives) which was showcased on 1 March 2020 during National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED-2020). It can detect bulk of pure as well as contaminated explosives of 20 different kinds from a standoff distance of 2 metre by using Universal Multiple Angle Raman Spectroscopy (UMARS) technique.[41]

Indian CL-20 explosive

A new high explosive is in the making at a DRDO lab that could replace other standard explosives of the armed forces such as RDX, HMX, FOX-7 and Amorphous Boron. Scientists at the Pune-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) have already synthesised an adequate quantity of CL-20, the new explosive, in their laboratory. The compound, 'Indian CL-20' or 'ICL-20', was indigenously developed in HEMRL using inverse technology. CL-20 is a Nitroamine class of explosive which is 20% more powerful than HMX which itself is more than potent RDX. CL-20-based shaped charges significantly improve the penetration of armour and could potentially be used in the bomb for the 120-mm main gun mounted on the Arjun tank. The CL-20, due to its reduced sensitivity enables easy handling and transportation and reduces the chances of mishap and loss of men, money, materials and machines.[42]

Artillery systems and ammunition

Pinaka rocket tested on 4 November 2020
Pinaka rocket tested on 4 November 2020

Tank armament

DRDO's ARDE also developed other critical systems, such as the Arjun Main Battle Tank's 120 mm rifled main gun and is presently engaged in the development of the armament for the Future IFV, the "Abhay". The DRDO is also a member of the trials teams for the T-72 upgrade and its fire control systems. Earlier on, the DRDO also upgraded the Vijayanta medium tank with new fire control computers.

Electronics and computer sciences

Electronic warfare

ECM stations for both communication and non-com (radar etc.) systems. The Indian Army has ordered its Signal Corps to be a prime contributor in the design and development stage, along with the DRDO's DLRL. The scale of this venture is substantial – it comprises COMINT and Electronic intelligence stations which can monitor and jam different bands for both voice/data as well as radar transmissions. In contrast to other such systems, Samyukta is an integrated system, which can perform the most critical battlefield EW tasks in both COM and Non-COM roles. The system will be the first of its type in terms of its magnitude and capability in the Army. Its individual modules can also be operated independently.[52] A follow on system known as Sauhard is under development.

EW systems for the Air Force

Radars

The DRDO has steadily increased its radar development. The result has been substantial progress in India's ability to design and manufacture high power radar systems with locally sourced components and systems. This began with the development of short-range 2D systems (Indra-1) and has now extended to high power 3D systems like LRTR intended for strategic purposes. Several other projects span the gamut of radar applications, from airborne surveillance (AEW&C) to firecontrol radars (land based and airborne). A list of the tactical programs is as follows:

Army

Air Force

Navy

More details on the DRDO's productions as well as production-ready radar systems is as follows:

Apart from the above, the DRDO has also several other radar systems currently under development or in trials, these include:

Command and control software and decision-making tools

Other programmes in development for the Army include Corps level information and decision making software and tools, intended to link all units together for effective C3I. These systems are in production at DRDO's production partner, Bharat Electronics. These projects are being driven by the Indian Army Corps of Signals. The Indian Army is also moving towards extensive use of battlefield computers. DRDO has also delivered projects such as the Combat Net Radio for enhancing the Army's communication hardware.

Computing technologies

DRDO has worked extensively on high speed computing given its ramifications for most of its defence projects. These include supercomputers for computational flow dynamics, to dedicated microprocessor designs manufactured in India for flight controllers and the like, to high speed computing boards built around Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components, similar to the latest trends in the defence industry.

Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC)

DRDO is working on a slew of directed energy weapons (DEWs). LASTEC has identified DEWs, along with space security, cyber-security and hypersonic vehicles as focus areas in the next 15 years.[68] The aim is to develop laser-based weapons, deployed on airborne as well as seaborne platforms, which can intercept missiles soon after they are launched towards India in the boost phase itself. These will be part of the ballistic missile defence system being currently developed by DRDO. LASTEC is developing a 25-kilowatt laser system to hit a missile during its terminal phase at a distance of 5–7 km. LASTEC is also working on a vehicle-mounted gas dynamic laser-based DEW system, under project Aditya, which should be ready in three years. Project Aditya is a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology. Ultimately, solid-state lasers would be used. For US President Donald Trump visit to India in 2020, DRDO deployed the LASTEC developed vehicle-mounted gas dynamic laser-based DEW system for counter-drone operations in Ahmedabad after completion of successful trial on 21 February 2020.[69] It can detect, identify and destroy low flying objects of smaller size carrying explosives or arms and ammunitions. The Aditya directed energy weapon system was first deployed during the visit of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on Indian Republic Day 2020.[citation needed]

LASTEC projects include:

Hand-held laser dazzler.
Hand-held laser dazzler.

Non-Lethal systems:

Lethal Systems:

Directed Energy Weapons (DEW)

In view of future warfare and contactless military conflict, DRDO initiated National Directed Energy Weapons Programme in collaboration with domestic private sector industries and various public institutions. It is working on several directed energy weapons (DEW) system such as KALI (electron accelerator) based on electromagnetic radiation or subatomic particle beam to achieve short, medium and long term national goals. Initially divided into two phases, Indian Army and Indian Air Force requested minimum of 20 tactical DEWs that can destroy smaller drones and electronic warfare radar systems within 6 km to 8 km distance. Under phase 2, another 20 tactical DEWs will be developed that can destroy target within 15 km to 20 km distance which will be used against troops and vehicles from ground or air platforms. As of 2020, a truck mounted DEW of 10 kilowatt laser with range of 2 km and portable tripod mounted 2 kilowatt DEW with range of 1 km were demonstrated in field operation successfully.[70] DRDO is working on 50 kilowatt DEW along with ship motion compensation systems for the Indian Navy.[71] In future, DRDO plans to work on a bigger 100 kW DEW.[71]

DURGA II

DRDO is working on a classified 100 kW directed energy weapon called Directionally Unrestricted Ray-Gun Array or DURGA.[72][71]

Combat vehicles & engineering

Tanks and armoured vehicles

T-72 Ajeya of the Indian Army
T-72 Ajeya of the Indian Army

Modification of BMP-2 series

India licence manufactures the BMP-2 with local components. The vehicle has been used as the basis for several locally designed modifications, ranging from missile launchers to engineering support vehicles. The DRDO and its various labs have been instrumental in developing these mission specific variants for the Indian Army.

Other engineering vehicles

In development

Naval research and development

Sonars

DRDO, BEL and the Indian Navy have developed and productionised a range of sonars and related systems for the Indian Navy's frontline combat ships.

The Shivalik class of frigates contain significant DRDO-developed systems
The Shivalik class of frigates contain significant DRDO-developed systems

These include:

Other sonars such as the airborne sonar Mihir are in trials, whilst work is proceeding apace on a new generation of sonars. DRDO's sonars are already present on the Indian Navy's most powerful ships. The standard fit for a front line naval ship would include the HUMSA-NG hull mounted sonar and the Nagin towed array sonar. The Mihir is a dunking sonar meant for use by the Naval ALH, working in conjunction with its Tadpole sonobuoy. The Panchendriya is in production for the Kilo class submarine upgrades.[88][89]

Torpedoes

DRDO is currently engaged in developing multiple torpedo designs. These include a lightweight torpedo that has been accepted by the Navy and cleared for production.[90]

Advanced Light Torpedo (Shyena)

Main article: Advanced Light Torpedo Shyena

Development of Shyena was started during 1990 under Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL). It is electrically propelled, can target submarines with a speed of 33 knots with endurance of six minutes in both shallow and deep waters. It is guided by active/passive acoustic homing that transition from warm to cold medium.

Varunastra

Main article: Varunastra (torpedo)

Varunastra is developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) as an advanced heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo that is powered by 250 KWs Silver Oxide Zinc (AgOZn) batteries.[91] It is wire guided with active-passive acoustic homing and additionally augumented by GPS/NavIC satellite guidance mechanism.

SMART

Main article: SMART (missile)

SMART launched from Integrated Test Range (ITR).
SMART launched from Integrated Test Range (ITR).


SMART or Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo is a 650 km range hybrid system that involves a missile carrier and torpedo payload for anti-submarine warfare It can be launched from warship or a truck-based coastal battery.[92][93]

Under development

The DRDO also developed and productionised a microprocessor controlled triple tube torpedo launcher for the Indian Navy as well as a towed torpedo decoy.[94]

Marine propulsion

Air-independent propulsion

Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) in collaboration with Larsen & Toubro and Thermax developed a 270 kilowatt Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) to power the Scorpène design based Kalvari-class submarines. It produces electricity by reacting with hydrogen generated from sodium borohydride and stored liquid oxygen with phosphoric acid acting as an electrolyte. On 8 March 2021, NMRL successfully conducted the final develomental test of the indigenous air-independent propulsion (AIP) system.[95]

Shipboard electronic countermeasure

Main article: Electronic countermeasure

Defence Laboratory at Jodhpur developed Short Range Chaff Rocket (SRCR), Medium Range Chaff Rocket (MRCR) and Long Range Chaff Rocket (LRCR) as part of passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology for the Indian Navy as per their qualitative requirement. The trials were successfully completed in the Arabian Sea as of April 2021. Unlike other systems, it uses much less quantity of chaff material as decoy for incoming missiles making it useful for longer duration use. The technology was already cleared for mass production by Indian private-sector industries.[96]

Other projects

These have included indigenisation of various components (for instance, adsorbent material for submarines, radar components, naval ship signature reduction efforts and materials technology). DRDO has played a significant role in the development of warship grade steel in India and its productionisation. DRDO has also assisted private industry in developing EW trainers, ship simulators for training and health monitoring systems for onboard equipment. Other equipment for the Navy includes underwater telephone sets, and VLF communication equipment, for the Navy's submarines. DRDO's IRDE has also developed optronic fire control systems for the Navy's and the Coast Guard's ships.

Information command and control systems

DRDO's labs have been part of projects to develop sophisticated command and control systems for the Navy, such as the EMCCA (Equipment Modular for Command and Control Application) which ties together various sensors and data systems. The EMCCA system gives commanders on the ship a consolidated tactical picture and adds to the ship's maritime combat power.[97]

DRDO labs are also engaged in supporting the Navy's ambitious naval enterprise wide networking system, a programme to link all naval assets together via datalinks, for sharing tactical information.

Mines and targets

Three kinds of mines, processor based mine, moored mine and processor based exercise mine are in production for the Navy. Targets developed for the Navy include a static target called the Versatile Acoustic target and a mobile target called the programmable deep mobile target (PDMT).

In development

Missile systems

Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

Main article: Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme

The IGMDP was launched by the Indian Government to develop the ability to develop and design a missile locally, and manufacture a range of missile systems for the three defence services. The programme has seen significant success in its two most important constituents – the Agni missiles and the Prithvi missiles, while two other programmes, the Akash surface to air missile (SAM) and the anti-tank Nag missile have seen significant orders. The Trishul missile, a sub-programme to develop short-range SAM for the Indian Armed Forces faced persistent problems throughout its development. Finally the project was terminated in 2008 as a technology demonstrator.[98]

Prithvi

Main article: Prithvi (missile)

The Prithvi (Earth) missiles are a range of SRBMs produced for the Indian Air Force and Army; a variant for the Navy has been deployed on Sukanya class patrol vessel. Another submarine-launched variant known as the K-15 is under development. The Prithvi is an extremely accurate liquid fuelled missile with a range of up to 350 km. While relatively inexpensive and accurate, with a good payload, its logistics footprint is high, on account of it being liquid fuelled.[99]

Agni

Main article: Agni (missile)

Agni A1-06 missile flight tested from Wheeler Island on 1 December 2011.
Agni A1-06 missile flight tested from Wheeler Island on 1 December 2011.

The Agni (Fire) ballistic missiles are a range of MRBMs, IRBMs, ICBMs meant for long-range deterrence. The Agni-III has range of up to 3,500 km (2,175 mi). The Agni-I and Agni-II have been productionised, although exact numbers remain classified.

First trials of the Agni-III saw problems and the missile test did not meet its objectives. The second test was successful. Further tests of the Agni-III are planned to validate the missile and its subsystems, which include new propellant and guidance systems, a new reentry vehicle and other improvements.[100]

The Agni-V missile is an Intercontinental ballistic missile meant for long-range deterrence. The Agni-V is the newest version and has the longest range of up to 5000–6000 km. Agni-V would also carry Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle payloads and will have countermeasures against Anti-ballistic missile systems. It was successfully test-fired on 19 April 2012.[101] The missile will utilise a canister and will be launched from it. Sixty percent of the missile will be similar to the Agni-III missile. Advanced technologies like ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer will be used in the new missile.[102] DRDO plans to develop reusable missiles which will be a combination of ballistic and cruise missile technology.[103] During an interview on 24 August 2014, The DRDO chief disclosed the plans of DRDO designing a Long Range ballistic Anti-ship missile.

Agni-P

Main article: Agni-P

Agni-P is a new generation of medium range range ballistic missile from the Agni series that incorporates the latest developments in design, composite materials, fuels, navigation and guidance system. As of 2021, it is the smallest and lightest missile of the Agni family.[104]

Akash

Main article: Akash (missile)

Akash Surface to Air Missile System flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur
Akash Surface to Air Missile System flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur

The Akash (Sky or ether) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system consisting of the command guidance ramjet powered Akash along with the dedicated service specific launchers, battery control radar (the Rajendra Block III), a central acquisition radar, battery and group control centres. The Akash project has yielded spinoffs like the Central Acquisition radar and weapon locating radar.

The Akash system cleared its user trials with the Indian Air Force in 2007. The user trials had the Akash intercept flying targets at ITR, Chandipur. The Akash missile struck its targets in every test. The Indian Air force has since been satisfied with the performance of the missile and ordered two squadrons of the Akash, with a squadron having eight launchers[105][106][107]

The Indian Air Force placed an order for an additional six squadrons of the Akash SAM in 2010, with an order of 750 missiles (125 per squadron). This order makes a total of a 1000 Akash SAMs on order for the Indian Air Force for eight squadrons.[108] In June 2010, the Defence Acquisition Council placed an order of the Akash missile system, valued at 12,500 crore (US$1.7 billion). Bharat Dynamics Limited will be the system integrator and nodal production agency for the Akash Army variant.

Trishul

Main article: Trishul (missile)

The Trishul (Trident) is a short range surface-to-air missile developed by India. It was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It can also be used as an anti-sea skimmer from a ship against low flying attacking missiles.[109] Trishul has a range of 9 km (5.6 mi)[110] It is powered by a dual thrust propulsion stage using high-energy solid propellant.[109] Trishul weighs 130 kg (290 lb) and is capable of carrying a 15 kg (33 lb) warhead.

The Trishul missile project was commissioned in 1983 as a part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The project was to be completed by 1992 and the missile would be fitted to Brahmaputra-class frigates as an anti-sea skimmer.[111] In 1985, Trishul made its first unguided flight from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The missile made its first full range guided flight in 1989. In 1992, the missile was successfully tested against a target and reached Mach 2 speed.[111] In 1997, the associated radar systems for detecting the incoming sea-skimmer were operational. The launch system was developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited in 1998.[111] In 2003, Government of India announced that the missile will be a technology demonstrator and de-linked it from other projects. The missile was successfully test-fired in 2005.[112] The development cost of the programme was 2.826 billion (US$38 million) and the Defence minister announced the official closure of the programme in 2008.[113][114][115]

Nag

Main article: Nag (missile)

The Nag anti-tank missile (Cobra) is a guided missile system intended for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. The Army will deploy the Nag on ground-based launchers and from helicopters, whereas the Air Force will rely on helicopter based units. The Nag has an Imaging Infrared (IIR) seeker and has a top and direct attack capability, with a tandem warhead. The Army's land missile carrier and launcher, known as the Namica, carries several ready to use Nag missiles within and four Nag missiles in an extendable launcher above the turret. The Namica has its own FLIR based sighting and fire control unit.

Nag missile

The Air Force and Army will also use their Advanced Light helicopters (ALH) (HAL Dhruv) and the HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LHC) as Nag carriers. The ALHs will be equipped with IRDE (DRDO) developed HELITIS (Heliborne Imaging and Targeting systems) with a combination of a FLIR and laser range finder in a stabilised turret for target acquisition and designation. The thermal imager is likely to be imported, but the gimballed turret, stabilisation, laser range finder and associated electronics have been designed in India and will be manufactured locally. The Nag ATGM is regarded as a highly capable missile, even though its development has been protracted, mainly due to the technological challenges of developing a state of the art IIR sensor equipped top attack missile. The Nag is still cheaper than most imported missiles in its category and is earmarked for the Army and Air Force.

The Nag anti-tank guided missile was cleared for production in July 2009 and there are uncorroborated reports since that it may be purchased by Tanzania, Botswana and Morocco.[116] The Nag will complement the existing Russian 9M113 Konkurs Anti-tank guided missile and European missile MILAN in Indian usage, both of which are manufactured under licence by Bharat Dynamics Limited.

Intercontinental ballistic missile

Main article: Intercontinental ballistic missile

Surya

Main article: Surya missile

DRDO started the project of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, codename Surya in 1994. The information became public in 2010. It will be a three-stage missile with solid and liquid fuel as propellant.

Anti-tank guided missile

Main article: Anti-tank guided missile

Cannon-launched guided projectile

Main article: Cannon-launched guided projectile

SAMHO

Main article: SAMHO (missile)

Developed as an indigenous replacement for LAHAT against heavily armoured vehicle and low flying objects. It can be fired from 120 mm rifled gun on Arjun MBT.

MPATGM

Main article: MPATGM

Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile or MPATGM, is a third generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile derived from Nag project under IGMDP developed by DRDO in collaboration with private sector defence contractor VEM Technologies.

SANT

A fourth generation ATGM developed from NAG as a stand-off range weapon that comes with dual seeker configuration.[117]

Cruise missile

Main article: Cruise missile

Brahmos

Main article: BrahMos

Launched as a joint venture between India's DRDO and the Russian NPO, the BrahMos programme aims at creating a range of missile systems derived from the Yakhont missile system. Named the "BrahMos" after the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers, the project has been highly successful.

BrahMos

The Indian Navy has ordered the BrahMos Naval version, both slant-launched and vertically launched, for its ships; the Indian Army has ordered two regiments worth of land-launched missiles for long-range strike; and an air-launched version is in development for the Indian Air Force's Su-30 MKIs and the Navy's Tu-142 long-range aircraft.

The DRDO has been responsible for the navigational systems on the BrahMos, aspects of its propulsion, airframe and seeker, plus its Fire Control Systems, Mobile Command posts and Transporter Erector Launcher.[118]

An upgraded version of the 290 km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired by India on 2 December 2010 from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Odisha coast.

"Block III version of BrahMos with advanced guidance and upgraded software, incorporating high manoeuvres at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude was flight tested successfully from Launch Complex III of ITR," its Director S P Dash said after the test-firing from a mobile launcher at 1100 hours. The 8.4-metre missile which can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound is capable of carrying conventional warheads of up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km.

It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as ten metres for surgical strikes at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage. BrahMos is capable of being launched from multiple platforms like submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The Block III BrahMos has the capability of scaling mountain terrain and can play a vital role in precision strike in the northern territories. The advanced cruise missile can fly close to the rough geographies and kill the target[119] A five-year development timeframe is anticipated.[120]

The hypersonic Brahmos 2 is to be developed as a follow on to the original Brahmos. The missile would fly at speeds of 5-7 Mach.

Nirbhay

Main article: Nirbhay Missile

Nirbhay (Fearless) is a long range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile powered by solid rocket booster and turbofan or a turbojet engine that can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.[121] The missile is guided by an inertial navigation system and a radio altimeter for the height determination.[122] It carries a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control and navigation system with additional MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with radiodetermination-satellite service GPS/NAVIC.[123] With a range of about 1000 km, Nirbhay is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements.[124]

Hypersonic weapons development

Main article: Hypersonic weapon development

Shaurya

Main article: Shaurya (missile)

Underground silo launched surface-to-surface missile Shaurya from ITR Balasore.
Underground silo launched surface-to-surface missile Shaurya from ITR Balasore.

The Shaurya (Valor) is a canister-launched hypersonic surface-to-surface tactical missile developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for use by the Indian Armed Forces. Similar to the BrahMos, Shaurya is stored in composite canisters, which makes it much easier to store for long periods without maintenance as well as to handle and transport. It also houses the gas generator to eject the missile from the canister before its solid propellant motors take over to hurl it at the intended target.

Shaurya missiles can remain hidden or camouflaged in underground silos from enemy surveillance or satellites till they are fired from the special storage-cum-launch canisters. The Shaurya system will require some more tests before it becomes fully operational in two to three years. Moreover, defence scientists say the high-speed, two-stage Shaurya has high maneuverability which also makes it less vulnerable to existing anti-missile defence systems.

It can be easily transported by road. The missile, encased in a canister, is mounted on a single vehicle, which has only a driver's cabin, and the vehicle itself is the launch platform. This "single vehicle solution" reduces its signature – it cannot be easily detected by satellites – and makes its deployment easy. The gas generator, located at the bottom of the canister produces high pressure gas, which expands and ejects the missile from the tube.

The centrepiece of a host of new technologies incorporated in Shaurya is its ring laser gyroscope (RLG) and accelerometer. The indigenous ring laser gyroscope, a sophisticated navigation and guidance system developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) based in Hyderabad is a highly classified technology.

In test flights the RLG functioned exceptionally well. the RLG monitors the missile's position in space when it is flying. The missile's on-board computer will use this information and compare it with the desired position. Based on the difference between the missile's actual and desired positions, the computer will decide the optimum path and the actuators will command the missile to fly in its desired/targeted position. The third test of the RLG was successful on 24 September 2011, reaching a speed of 7.5 mach. It is now ready for production.

Under development

Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)

Main article: Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

HSTDV mounted on solid booster stage, erected vertical at launch site
HSTDV mounted on solid booster stage, erected vertical at launch site


An unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft to attain hypersonic speed flight that will also act as carrier vehicle for future hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles. It will include multiple spinoff in civilian applications including the launching of satellites at lower cost.

Tactical ballistic missile

Main article: Tactical ballistic missile

Prahaar

Main article: Prahaar (missile)

Prahaar is a solid-fueled surface-to-surface guided short-range tactical ballistic missile developed by DRDO of India. It would be equipped with omni-directional warheads and could be used for hitting both tactical and strategic targets. It has a range of about 150 km. It was successfully test-fired on 21 July 2011 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.[125]

Pralay

Main article: Pralay (missile)

It is a solid fuel short range tactical missile under development based on the technology of Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor. Upon completion of the project, Pralay will replace the older generation liquid fueled Prithvi missile.

Pranash

DRDO is developing a 200 km range single stage solid fuel missile that can carry conventional warhead for battlefield use. The testing phase of the new missile will start from 2021.[126]

Beyond-visual-range missile

Main article: Beyond-visual-range missile

Astra

Main article: Astra (missile)

Astra Mark 1 closeup view during flight test.
Astra Mark 1 closeup view during flight test.

Astra is an 110 km (68 mi) class, active radar homing air-to-air missile meant for beyond-visual-range missile combat.

Air-augmented rocket

Main article: Air-augmented rocket

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)

Main article: Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet

From year 2010 onwards, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) started working on critical technologies for future longer range air-to-air missile that can also be used in surface-to-air missile systems. Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) is one such missile propulsion technology that uses thrust modulated ducted rocket with a reduced smoke nozzle-less missile booster.

Anti-radiation missile

Main article: Anti-radiation missile

Rudram-1

Main article: Rudram-1

NGARM (New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile) now officially called Rudram-1 is a 100–250 km[127] range air-to-surface, anti-radiation missile to provide air superiority, tactical capability to Indian Air Force for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), that can be launched from a range of altitudes.[128]

Surface-to-air missile

Main article: Surface-to-air missile

Akash-NG

Main article: Akash-NG

Akash-NG is new generation of Akash missile developed by DRDO.The missile uses an Ku-band Active radar seeker, an active electronically scanned array Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and optical proximity fuze will improve the effectiveness of the missile against targets with low radar cross-section. It is the successor of Akash missile and has range of 80 km.

Barak 8

Main article: Barak 8

India and Israel have worked out an agreement to develop and produce the long-range Barak 8 air defence system for both the Indian and the Israeli militaries. The initial co-development funding is about US$350 million, of which IAI will finance 50 per cent. The venture is a tripartite one, between the DRDO, the Indian Navy, and the IAI. The missile is referred to as the LRSAM in Indian Government literature, and will have a range of 72 km (45 mi).[129][130] Israel Aircraft Industries refers to the system as Barak-8. IAI states that the missile will have a dual pulse motor, is vertically launched and is able to engage both aircraft and sea skimming missiles. It has a fully active seeker, and the Barak-8 Weapons system is capable of multiple simultaneous engagements. It will have a two way datalink for midcourse update, as well as be able to integrate into larger C3I networks. The primary fire control sensor for the naval Barak-8/LRSAM will be the ELTA MF-STAR Naval AESA radar which Israel claims to be superior to many existing systems worldwide.[131][132][133] The dual pulse rocket motor for the SAM was developed by DRDO, and the prototypes were supplied to IAI for integration with IAI systems to develop the complete missile.

The other variant of the LRSAM will be fielded by the Indian Air Force. Along with the Akash SAM, the LRSAM fills a longer range requirement and both types will complement each other. Each unit of the MR-SAM would consist of a command and control centre, with an acquisition radar, a guidance radar and 3 launchers with eight missiles each.

A 4-year, US$300 million System Design & Development phase to develop unique system elements and an initial tranche of the land-based missiles is estimated. The radars, C2 centres, TEL's and missiles will be codeveloped by Israel and India. In turn, IAI and its Israeli partners have agreed to transfer all relevant technologies and manufacturing capabilities to India allowing India to manufacture the LRSAM systems locally as well as support them. [134] The Barak-8 next generation long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) had its first test-flight on 29 May 2010.

QRSAM

Main article: QRSAM

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM)
Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM)

DRDO developed QRSAM as part of replacement program for the Soviet era 9K33 Osa and 2K12 Kub that is being used extensively by Indian Army and Indian Air Force. It is built for an all weather, all terrain scenario with electronic counter-countermeasure system against aerial targets. It has an engagenment range of minimum 3 km to a maximum of 30 km that is powered by solid fuel propellant, maintaining a speed of 4.7 Mach in flight. The missile system uses a two way data link communication with active radar homing.[135]

XRSAM

Main article: XRSAM

DRDO is developing a long range surface to air missile to supplement Barak-8 and S-400 systems for its multi-tier air defence umbrella protecting the Indian airspace. It will use some of the key technologies developed during Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.

VL-SRSAM

Main article: VL-SRSAM

Vertical launched-Short Range Surface- to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) is a quick reaction short range missile being developed by DRDO for naval service and to replace Barak 1 missile.The missile is naval variant of Astra with some design and technological changes for an all weather point and area defence role against flying targets such as fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles etc. It has the range of 45 km.[136]

Ballistic Missile Defence Programme

Main article: Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme

Unveiled in 2006, the ABM project was a surprise to many observers. While DRDO had revealed some details about the project over the years, its progress had been marked by strict secrecy, and the project itself was unlisted, and not visible among DRDO's other programmes. The ABM project has benefited from all the incremental improvements achieved by the DRDO and its associated industrial partners via the long-running and often contentious Akash missile and Trishul missile programmes. However, it is a completely new programme, with much larger scope and with predominantly new subsystems.

The ABM project has two missiles—namely the AAD (Advanced Air Defence) and PAD (Prithvi Air Defence) missiles. The former is an endo-atmospheric interceptor of new design, which can intercept targets to a height of 30 km (19 mi). Whereas the latter is a modified Prithvi missile, dubbed the Axo-atmospheric interceptor (AXO) with a dedicated second stage kill vehicle for ballistic missile interception, up to an altitude of 80 km (50 mi). Both these missiles are cued by an active phased array Long Range Tracking Radar, similar to the Elta GreenPine but made with locally developed components, which include DRDO-developed transmit/receive modules. The ABM system also makes use of a second radar, known as the Multi-Function Control Radar which assists the LRTR in classifying the target, and can also act as the fire control radar for the AAD missile. The MFCR, like the LRTR, is an active phased array system.

The entire system was tested in November 2006, under the Prithvi Air Defence Exercise, when a prototype AXO missile intercepted another Prithvi missile at a height of 50 km (31 mi). This test was preceded by an "electronic test" in which an actual target missile was launched, but the entire interceptor system was tested electronically, albeit no actual interceptor was launched. This test was successful in its entirety. The AAD Missile was tested in December 2007 which successfully intercepted a modified Prithvi missile simulating the M-9 and M-11 class of ballistic missiles. Interception happened at an altitude of 15 km (9 mi).[137]

Anti-satellite weapon

Main article: 2019 Indian anti-satellite missile test

After testing the over 5,000 km Agni V missile, which went up to 600 km into space during its parabolic trajectory, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) now feels it can fashion deadly anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons in double-quick time. Agni V gives you the boosting capability and the 'kill vehicle', with advanced seekers, will be able to home into the target satellite, DRDO chief, VK Saraswat said.[138] The defence ministry in 2010 had even drafted a 15-year "Technology Perspective and Roadmap", which held development of ASAT weapons "for electronic or physical destruction of satellites in both LEO (2,000-km altitude above earth's surface) and the higher geosynchronous orbit" as a thrust area in its long-term integrated perspective plan under the management of DRDO.[139] Consequently, defence scientists are focusing on "space security" to protect India's space assets from electronic or physical destruction. Another spin-off from Agni V test is that the DRDO feels it can work towards launching mini-satellites for battlefield use if an adversary attacks the country's main satellites.[138] On 27 March 2019, India conducted a successful Anti-satellite missile test from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.[140][141]

Submarine-launched ballistic missile

Main article: Submarine-launched ballistic missile

K Missile series

Main article: K Missile family

Sagarika

Main article: Sagarika (missile)

The K-15 Sagarika is a nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile belonging to the K Missile family with a range of 750 kilometres (466 mi) travelling at hypersonic speed of Mach 7.5. Sagarika can carry a payload of up to 500 kilograms (1,102 lb). Sagarika was developed at the DRDO Missile Complex in Hyderabad.

This missile will form part of the triad in India's nuclear deterrence, and will provide retaliatory nuclear strike capability. The development of this missile (under the title Project K-15) started in 1991. The Indian government first confirmed Sagarika's development seven years later (1998), when the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, announced it during a press conference.

The development of the underwater missile launcher, known as Project 420 (P420), was completed in 2001 and handed over to the Indian Navy for trials. The missile was successfully test-fired six times, and tested to its full range up to three times. The test of missile from a submerged pontoon was conducted in February 2008.

Sagarika is being integrated with India's nuclear-powered Arihant class submarines that began sea trials on 26 July 2009.

K-4 (missile)

Main article: K-4 (missile)

K-4 is intermediate-range sunbmarine launched missile developed by DRDO for the Indian Navy's Arihant class submarine and future S5-class submarine. The missile has length of 12 metres and diameter of 1.3 metres. It weighs nearly 17 tonnes and can carry a warhead weighing up to 2 tonnes. This missile give capability to strike deep into the enemy territory as it has the range of 3500 km. K4 missile can perform three-dimensional maneuvers and has high accuracy.

Some sources also report that it is a compact version of Agni-III as the Agni-III is nearly 17m in length so it cannot be deployed in the Arihant class submarine.

K-4 has completed all the user trials and ready for induction into the service.[142][143]

K-5 missile

Main article: K-5 (ballistic missile)

K-5 missile is intercontinental-range submarine launched missile being developed by DRDO. It will have the range of 5000 km and will carry the warhead of 2 tonnes. It will be solid-fuelled. It will be ready for test in 2022. K-5 will be fastest missile in his family.[144][145]

K-6 missile

Main article: K-6 (missile)

K-6 missile is intercontinental-range submarine launched missile being developed by DRDO. It will be have the range of 6000-8000 km. It will also carry the payload of 2 tonnes. It will enable the Navy's submarine to aim any country while patrolling in the "safe haven".[146][147]

Precision-guided munition

Main article: Precision-guided munition

Sudarshan laser-guided bomb

Main article: Sudarshan laser-guided bomb

Sudarshan Laser guided bomb
Sudarshan Laser guided bomb

India's first laser-guided bomb, Sudarshan is the latest weapon system developed indigenously to occupy the niche of a precision delivery mechanism. It can be fitted to a 450 kilograms (990 lb) gravity bomb and can guide it to the target using lasers with a CEP (Circular Error Probability) of 10 metres.

DRDO Glide Bombs

Main article: DRDO Glide Bombs

Garuthmaa & Garudaa are DRDO's 1000 kg Glide Bombs. These are India's first indigenously designed glide bomb with a range of 30 km (Garudaa) to 100 km (Garuthmaa).

DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

Main article: DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon

Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kilometres.

High Speed Low Drag Bomb (HSLD)

Main article: High Speed Low Drag Bomb

This is a family of both guided and unguided munition developed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) for the new generation Indian, NATO and Russian origin aircraft.

Communication-Centric Intelligence Satellite (CCI-Sat)

Communication-Centric Intelligence Satellite is an advanced reconnaissance satellite, being developed by DRDO. It will be India's first officially declared spy satellite and according to ISRO it should be in the sky by 2014.[148] This satellite will help Indian intelligence agencies to significantly boost surveillance of terror camps in neighbouring countries.

Future Plans

AVATAR

Main article: Avatar (spacecraft)

Aerobic Vehicle for Transatmospheric Hypersonic Aerospace Transportation also known as AVATAR is a DRDO concept for a robotic single-stage reusable spaceplane capable of horizontal takeoff and landing, that can be used for space launches of low cost military and commercial satellite.

GATET engine

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched a 100 crore (US$13.3 million) project in R&D in the area of gas turbines, a DRDO official said in April 2010. Under the initiative of DRDO's Aeronautics Research and Development Board, R&D projects, which need investment in the region of 50 lakh (US$66,400.00) to 5 crore (US$664,000.00), would be considered for funding. GTRE was the nodal agency to spearhead this venture, called GATET[149][150][151]

Naval Anti-Ship Missile (NASM)

The project is sanctioned in 2017 for a 5-55 km short range air-launched Naval Anti-Ship Missile (NASM–SR) to replace Sea Eagle missiles in use by the Indian Navy with future variants ranged in excess of 150 km.[152]

Long Range - Land Attack Cruise Missile (LR-LACM)

Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is working on developing a cruise missile with a range greater than 1,000 km with land and under water variant for Army and Navy respectively.[153] It will use SFDR for propulsion that will take the missile to supersonic speed. LR-LACM is developed to achieve greater CEP than BrahMos with increase in warhead load capaciity.[154]

Industry linkages, technology transfer and indigenisation

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2019)

See also: Defence industry of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Make in India, Startup India, and Indigenous Defence Equipment Exporters Association

India domestically produces only 45% to 50% of defence products it uses, and the rest are imported.[155] To become technology research and production leader, reduce reliance on the imports and increase self-reliance, DRDO Chief called for more collaboration with the industry, private sector, research and education institutes including IITs and NITs.[155] India's military–industrial complex has had little success and only recently private sector was allowed to enter the defence production.[156] To expedite the development cycle of new technologies and to better fit the end user requirements, army has asked DRDO to take more army staff on deputation to be part of DRDO technology development project teams.[157]

Indian forces are using numerous indigenous technologies produced by the DRDO, including Varunastra, Maareech, Ushus, TAL by navy; Electronic Warfare Technologies, radars, composite materials for LCA, AEW&C, Astra, LCA Tejas by airforce; and ASAT, BrahMos, ASTRA, Nag missile, SAAW, Arjun MBT Mk 1A, 46-metre Modular Bridge, MPR, LLTR Ashwin by the army.[158] In September 2019, DRDO formulated the "DRDO Policy and Procedures for Transfer of Technology" and released information on "DRDO-Industry Partnership: Synergy and Growth and DRDO Products with Potential for Export".[158]

During the Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019 in October, DRDO signed technology transfer contracts with 16 Indian companies, including 3 startups, to produce products for the use by Indian Armed Forces.[159] This included high shelf life, high nutrition, ready-to-eat on-the-go food products to be consumed in the difficult terrain and bad weather.[159] DRDO and ISRO have agreed to collaborate in India's crewed orbital spacecraft project called Gaganyaan during which DRDOs various laboratories will tailor their defence capabilities to suit the needs of ISRO's human space mission with critical human-centric systems and technologies like space grade food, crew healthcare, radiation measurement and protection, parachutes for the safe recovery of the crew module and fire suppression system etc.[160] Kalyani Group is developing the DRDO Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS).[160]

DRDO with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) under Advance Assessment Technology and Commercialisation Programme is helping Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to keep Dal Lake clean by providing low cost Biodigesters for the treatment of human excreta, animal waste disposal, grey water and kitchen waste release that works fine in ambient as well as sub zero temperature which are also supplied to Indian Railways.[161][162]

Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) which works in the field of chemical weapon, biological agent detection and research is helping Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in augmenting diagnostic capability for COVID–19 outbreak. It has created special hand sanitiser formulation and diagnostic kits following WHO standards and guidelines that are supplied in large numbers to civilian and defence officials.[163][164] Medical staff all over India dealing with Coronavirus contamination are using protective waterproof clothing with special sealant used in submarine applications developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) for CBRN defense that is made up of high strength polyester coated with breathable polymer.[165] The clothing underwent successful trials at the South India Textile Research Association and exceeds the criteria of currently available suits in the market.[166] The suit is washable, passed all critical CBRN and ASTM standards and is now manufactured by two private players, Venus Industries from Mumbai and IMTEC from Kolkata.[167] Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) developed causality evacuation bag for COVID-19 infected patients that can withstand Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) environments and is protected against blood and viral penetration. The bag is made up of durable water repellent nonwoven fabric. It is rigid cylindrical in shape with air and water proof zippers and ventilators. Already ordered 500 in numbers, DRDO will now transfer the technology to private sector for manufacturing.[168]

Under Society for Biomedical Technology (SBMT) programme, DEBEL has developed five-layer nanomesh based N99 masks and is collaborating with startup company Scanray Tech for the production of ventilators using current available technologies with Indian made parts due to unavailability of imports. It is also working on a new multiplexed ventilator technology that will be able to support several infected individuals on a single ventilator. The prototype development stage is complete and the initial model is now undergoing various improvements suggested by a team of medical researchers and doctors.[169] The technology will finally be transferred to Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India and Maruti Suzuki for immediate mass production.[170][171] DRDO signed agreement with Indian Telephone Industries Limited for tech transfer on low cost multiplexed ventilator technology with 80% to 90% of components are now make in India.[172]

DRDO as of 11 April 2020 transferred technologies to 30 major companies to manufacture various non-medicine products against the COVID-19 pandemic which includes ventilator, sanitiser, personal protective equipment, face shield and isolation shelter. The technology for the newly developed multiplexed ventilator came from on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) developed for HAL Tejas. Private sector players like Raksha Polycoats and Accurate Savan Defence are now producing protective clothing, isolation shelters based on DRDO tech developed for high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) bags, submarine escape suit and satellite recovery systems. Hyderabad based jewellary making startup iMake with Modern Manufacturers and Kirat Mechanical Engineering from Chandigarh, Wipro 3D from Bengaluru and Global Healthcare from Delhi are 3D printing visor-based face shields which is an offshoot of the tech developed for high-altitude military parachuting. Setco from Mumbai is producing sealants developed for submarines of Indian Navy at DRDO labs for personal protection equipments.[173]

Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) developed product called Aerosol Containment Box for enclosure of intubation procedure made with Poly(methyl methacrylate). It is cubical in shape designed for both adults and minors that covers the COVID-19 infected patients during medical examination and treatment from head to chest to stop the transmission of droplets containing the virus to others. Employees' State Insurance Corporation Medical College, Hyderabad helped RCI in prototype development while Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research helped in testing, validation and acceptance of product for medical use. The technology is now transferred to private industries located in Chandigardh and Hyderabad for mass manufacturing.[174] RCI at DRDO Missile Complex, Hyderabad is now supplying technology of brushless DC motors (BLDC) used for missile actuators and high response solenoid valves used in missile control for ventilator pumps that validated the prototype testing stages.[175]

Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) developed two sanitising equipments of 50 litres tank capacity consists of portable backpack type that covers an area of 300 metres while another trolley mounted for large area sanitisation of up to 3000 metres by spraying 1% hypochlorite solution.[176]

Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) developed portable disinfection chamber and special face protection mask for health professionals combating COVID-19 outbreak in India. The personnel decontamination system is equipped with sanitiser and soap dispenser. The full-body decontamination starts using for pedal with an electrically operated pump creating disinfectant mist of 700-litre of hypo sodium chloride. The system takes 25 seconds for full decontamination with automatic shut-off procedure and can decontaminate 650 personnels until next refill. The face mask developed for COVID-19 patients uses the A4 size Over-Head Projection (OHP) film for protection and light weight materials for long duration comfortable use.[177] VRDE developed full-body decontamination chamber was designed and validated within 4 days with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi became the first premier institution to use it. The mass manufacturing of the portable decontamination chamber is now done by Dass Hitachi Limited.[178]

Development cum Production Partner programme

As part of Make In India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, DRDO under Development cum Production Partner programme (DCPP) allowed handholding of domestic private sector industries to improve their development and production cycle of complex defence systems.

VL-SRSAM (Vertical Launch - Short Range Surface to Air Missile) and Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) became some of the successful projects of this programme.[179]

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on 17 December 2021, secured order for manufacturing, assembly, integration, testing and supply of DRDO Abhyas from Aeronautical Development Establishment. The order will be completed under Development-cum-Production Partner (DcPP) with a private sector industry.[180]

On 16 December 2021, Ashok Leyland signed partnership agreement with Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) to develop 600 hp engine for Future Combat Vehicle Programme.[181] Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) on 27 December 2021 transferred technologies for developing border surveillance system to Indian private sector company Paras Defence and Space. The system consists of radar, electro-optical sensors mounted on pan tilt platform.[182] On 28 December 2021, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) transferred technology to manufacture extreme cold weather clothing system to RHD Business Services, SBNX Innovation, Shiva Texyarn Limited, Kusumgar Corporates and Ginni Filaments Limited.[35]

See also

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