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January 01, 2002

'33'

FORTY FOUR GLORIOUS YEARS IN DEFENCE RESEARCH

DRDO DAY CELEBRATED

    The first prototype of the surveillance radar for use in the Naval Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) is ready to be handed over to the Navy this year. The system is designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Two prototypes of Battlefield Surveillance Radar (BFSR), indigenously developed by DRDO will also be ready for trials in the first half of this year. BFSR is man portable short-range radar for frontline ground surveillance and observation. The system automatically detects moving surface targets. When deployed it will serve as a primary surface sensor for forward troops, border surveillance and intrusion detection. The DRDO has now reached a level of maturity in providing indigenous design and development in respect of technologically complex radar systems.

    In the light of these achievements, DRDO is celebrating its 44th anniversary today. The organisation, which is relentlessly working towards making the Indian Armed Forces stronger and self reliant, was formed in 1958 by amalgamating the Defence Science Organisation (DSO) and the Technical Development Establishments (TDE).

    Corresponding to the government policy of enhancing interaction between DRDO and the private sector, eight DRDO laboratories were opened up to the private sector last year. A very simple, cheap and easy-to-use method of assessment of contamination in drinking water based on the detection of hydrogen sulphide producing organisms developed by DRDO laboratory, is under marketing by a private firm. In addition, several technologies have been transferred to private sector such as Scara robot used for assembly jobs and articulated robot used for material handling, welding and spray painting etc.

    The DRDO scientists have successfully flight-tested the Supersonic Cruise Missile BrahMos jointly developed by India and Russia. This Missile with a 280 km range is the first of its kind in the world. It incorporates the most advanced technologies and is capable of being launched from a variety of platforms.

    The Air Force version of Prithvi (P-II) surface-to-surface missile, developed indigenously with 250 Kms range has already been successfully flight-tested. The flight was flawless and the missile impacted at the intended target point accurately.

    The DRDO has now acquired world standards in guided missiles, radars, electronic warfare systems, Sonars, flight simulators, unmanned Aircraft, small arms, ammunition and nuclear, biological & chemical / high altitude protection clothing, parachutes and secrecy equipment. The DRDO in partnership with the Department of Atomic Energy has successfully provided the technology capability for India to be a nuclear power.

    Some of the other major landmark achievements are the maiden flight of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), operationalisation of Agni missile, demonstration flights of Air Force and Naval version of Prithvi – surface-to-surface missile. Lakshya (training targets) has been operationalised and inducted into the Air Force and Navy. In the combat engineering, technology transfer of Main Battle Tank has been completed and wheel based mechanically launched multi-span Bridging System and containerised Operation Theatre went into limited series production. Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems for three services have been developed and DRDO developed avionic suites have been integrated with the state-of-the-art SU-30 aircraft. Sonar for fitment into EKM submarine system is under production at Bharat Electronics Limited.

    Supply of Anthrax Detection Kits to Central and State Agencies and the World Health Organisation has been the key contribution of DRDO scientists towards the fight against bio-terrorism.

    In the coming years, DRDO looks forward to the completion of final development and user trials of important systems / platforms and the second block of test flights of the LCA. The initiative to promote synergy among the various agencies during the past few years has begun to fructify.