Telangana

Year of hectic activity for Hyderabad-based DRDO labs

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight test a New Generation Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile 'Agni P' from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island. File

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight test a New Generation Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile 'Agni P' from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island. File

It has been a year of an unusual spree of missile launches, testing of new weapon and defence systems by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs, most of which are established here. Testing centres at Balasore, offshore site at the Kalam island, Jaisalmer and Pokhran in Rajasthan and others became a beehive of activity when at least a dozen new age advanced weapon systems for the armed forces underwent trials before the induction.

Senior officials, requesting anonymity, explained that the missile launches and testing of other weapon systems were meticulously planned despite the cascading effect of COVID-induced lockdown in 2020. Though defence lab works were in full swing with protocols in place, field trials which involved coordination among different agencies, movement of equipment and the likes, made it an assembly line of trial launches.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, housing Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) has had a key role in almost all trials as scientists tested for advanced radars, avionics, algorithms, integrated software, rocket motors, propulsion systems and so on.

Top of the pops is new generation nuclear-capable ballistic surface to surface ‘Agni P’ missile which was successfully flight tested twice. Another significant one is the quasi-ballistic surface to surface tactical new generation ‘Pralay’ - which too achieved twin success, they said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over MRSAM - Medium Range Surface to Air Missile System to Indian Air Force (IAF). It is an advanced network centric combat air defence system developed jointly with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI); Long Range Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) - final production batch was flagged off for Indian Navy, also developed with IAI to tackle targets like fighter aircraft and cruise missiles.

HELINA - Helicopter launched Nag missile (for army) and Dhruvastra ( forIAF) missile are third generation, Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) fire and forget Anti-Tank Guided Missiles to engage targets both in direct hit mode and top attack mode underwent trials. Indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) with miniaturized infrared imaging seeker and advanced avionics was test fired so was vertical launch of Short-Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) for Indian Navy to neutralize threats at close ranges like sea-skimming targets.

Indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) with miniaturized infrared imaging seeker and advanced avionics was test fired so was the vertical launch of Short-Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) for the Indian Navy to neutralize threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.

Air version of BrahMos supersonic missile was successfully test fired from fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30 MK-I as also the supersonic cruise missile assisted torpedo system. Flight trial of new generation surface to air Akash missile was conducted from a land-based platform for the air defence capability of IAF against fast targets.

Another one ‘Akash Prime’ was successfully flight tested with an indigenous active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy. Two flight tests of indigenously-developed smart anti-airfield weapon was carried with IAF where satellite navigation and electro optical sensors were successfully tested for the first time. Another important development was flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) for development of long-range air-to-air missiles, they said.

Finished products like ‘Shakti’, an advanced electronic warfare system was handed over to Indian Navy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Incidentally, DRDO Young Scientist Lab - Assymetric Technologies (DYSL-AT), the brainchild of the PM and also located here, had successfully demonstrated the drone swarm tech last year, senior officials added.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 5:40:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/year-of-hectic-activity-for-hyderabad-based-drdo-labs/article38292304.ece