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Published by Pradip Sangle

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Published by: Pradip Sangle on Jun 19, 2012
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Defence Research and Development Organisation1
Defence Research and Development Organisation
Defence Research and Development Organisation
 बलस् य मू लंविज् ञानम्
"Strength's Origin is in Science"
Agency overviewFormed
DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi
30,000 (7,000 scientists)
Annual budget
10253.17 crore (US$2 billion)(2011-12)
Minister responsible
A.K. Antony, Defence Minister of India
Agency executive
Dr.V.K.Saraswat, Director General, DRDO and Scientific Adviser(SA) to Defence Minister
 [3]DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi, The Headquarters of DRDO
Defence Research and DevelopmentOrganisation
) is an agency of the Republic of India, responsible for the development of technologyfor use by the military, headquartered in New Delhi,India. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of theTechnical Development Establishment and theDirectorate of Technical Development and Productionwith the Defence Science Organisation.DRDO has a network of 52 laboratories which aredeeply engaged in developing defence technologiescovering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments,electronic and computer sciences, human resourcedevelopment, life sciences, materials, missiles, combatvehicles development and naval research anddevelopment. The organization includes more than 5,000 scientists and about 25,000 other scientific, technical andsupporting personnel.
Defence Research and Development Organisation2
105mm light field gun prototype being shown byGen Jetley to then Defence Minister JagjivanRam.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) wasestablished in 1958 by amalagamating the Defence ScienceOrganisation and some of the technical development establishments. Aseparate Department of Defence Research and Development wasformed in 1980 which later on administered DRDO and its 50laboratories/establishments. Most of the time the Defence ResearchDevelopment Organisation was treated as if it was a vendor and theArmy Headquarters or the Air Headquarters were the customers.Because the Army and the Air Force themselves did not have anydesign or construction responsibility, they tended to treat the designeror Indian industry at par with their corresponding designer in the worldmarket. If they could get a MiG 21 from the world market, they wanteda MiG 21 from DRDO.
DRDO started its first major project in surface-to-air missiles (SAM) known as ProjectIndigo in 1960s. Indigo was discontinued in later years without achieving full success. Project Indigo led to ProjectDevil, along with Project Valiant, to develop short-range SAM and ICBM in the 1970s. Project Devil itself led to thelater development of the Prithvi missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) in the1980s. IGMDP was an Indian Ministry of Defence program between the early 1980s and 2007 for the developmentof a comprehensive range of missiles, including the Agni missile, Prithvi ballistic missile, Akash missile, Trishulmissile and Nag Missile. In 2010,then defence minister A.K. Antony ordered the restructing of the Defence Researchand Development Organisation (DRDO) to give 'a major boost to defence research in the country and to ensureeffective participation of the private sector in defence technology'. The key measures to make DRDO effective in itsfunctioning include the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission with the defence minister as itschairman.
The programs which were largely managed by DRDO has seen considerable success with many of the systems seeing rapid deployment as well as yielding significant technological benefits.
DRDO has manysuccesses since its establishment in developing other major systems and critical technologies such as aircraftavionics, UAVs, small arms, artillery systems, EW Systems, tanks and armoured vehicles, sonar systems, commandand control systems and missile systems.
The DRDO is responsible for the ongoing Light Combat Aircraft. TheLCA is intended to provide the Indian Air Force with a modern, fly bywire, multi-role fighter, as well as develop the aviation industry in India.The LCA program has allowed DRDO to progress substantially in thefields of avionics, flight control systems, aircraft propulsion and compositestructures, along with aircraft design and development.
The DRDO provided key avionics for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI program under the "Vetrivel" program. Systemsdeveloped by DRDO include radar warning receivers, radar and display computers. DRDO's radar computers,manufactured by HAL are also being fitted into Malaysian Su-30s.The DRDO is part of the Indian Air Force's upgrade programs for its MiG-27 and Sepecat Jaguar combat aircraft,along with the manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. DRDO and HAL have been responsible for the
Defence Research and Development Organisation3system design and integration of these upgrades, which combine indigenously developed systems along withimported ones. DRDO contributed subsystems like the Tarang radar warning receiver, Tempest jammer, coreavionics computers, brake parachutes, cockpit instrumentation and displays.
The DRDO's avionics program has been a success story with its mission computers, radar warning receivers, highaccuracy direction finding pods, airborne jammers and flight instrumentation in use across a wide variety of IndianAir Force aircraft. The organization began developing these various items for its upgrades, and for the LCA project.Variants were then developed for other aircraft. The lead designer in several of these efforts has been DARE, or theDefence Avionics Research Establishment, DRDO's designated mission avionics laboratory. Other laboratories havealso chipped in, from the radar specialist LRDE, to electronic warfare focused DEAL to the ADE, which developsUAVs and flight control systems.
LCA uses DRDO developed avionics
The DRDO is also co-developing more advanced avionics for the LightCombat Aircraft and the IAF's combat fleet. These include a range of powerful Open Architecture computers, better defensive avionicsincluding modern RWR's, self protection jammers, missile approachwarning systems and integrated defensive suites, optronics systems(such as infrared search and track systems) and navigational systemssuch as Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial navigational systems. Otheritems under development include digital map generators, helmetmounted displays and smart multifunctional displays.
Other Hindustan Aeronautics programs
Apart from the aforementioned upgrades, DRDO has also assisted Hindustan Aeronautics with its programs. Theseinclude the HAL Dhruv helicopter and the HAL HJT-36. Over a hundred LRU (Line Replaceable Unit)'s in theHJT-36 have come directly from the LCA program. Other duties have included assisting the Indian Air Force withindigenization of spares and equipment. These include both mandatory as well as other items.
Unmanned aerial vehicles
A scaled down model of the Rustom-1 MALE UAV
The DRDO has also developed two unmanned aerial vehicles- theNishant (
) tactical UAV and the Lakshya (
)Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).
The Lakshya PTA has beenordered by all three services for their gunnery target trainingrequirements. Efforts are on to develop the PTA further, with animproved all digital flight control system, and a better turbojetengine.
The Nishant is a hydraulically launched short rangedUAV for the tactical battle area. It is currently being evaluated bythe Indian Navy and the Indian Paramilitary forces as well.The DRDO is also going ahead with its plans to develop a newclass of UAVs. These draw upon the experience gained via theNishant program, 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 theRustom,
and will feature canards and carry a range of payloads, including optronic, radar, laser designators andESM. The UAV will have conventional landing and take off capability. The HALE UAV will have features such asSATCOM links, allowing it to be commanded beyond line of sight. Other tentative plans speak of converting theLCA into a UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), and weaponizing UAVs.

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