On the mark of 65th foundation day floral tributes were paid to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at DRDO Headquarters in New Delhi. Foundation day is celebrated on 1st January every year. Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat along with Director Generals and senior officials of DRDO paid floral tributes at the bust of Missile Man of India.
The event, organised to mark the day, also included the release of two books comprising articles on defence technologies, a dictionary on scientific and technical terminology, Stores Manual and guidelines (SMG-2023), the third-anniversary issue of bimonthly bulletin InSight and DRDO Technology Foresight. DRDO Technology Foresight will be shared on the DRDO website so that industry and academia may plan their R&D activities accordingly.
Dr Samir V Kamat addressed the DRDO fraternity and congratulated them for achieving a number of milestones in 2022, urging them to focus on developing the defence R&D ecosystem in the country and strive to realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The DRDO Chairman stated that several systems developed by DRDO have been delivered, inducted or handed over to the users. These include three firing units of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile for IAF, Shakti EW system, InfraRed Signature Suppression System for ships, Brake Parachutes for Su-30 fighter aircrafts, Commanders Thermal Imaging Sight with Laser Range Finders for T-90 Tank, Dhwani Automated Sonar Trainer, four types of Radiation Contamination Monitoring Systems, MIG-29 Aircrew Helmet and Pressure Breathing Oxygen Masks etc.
Dr Kamat added that the Defence Procurement Boards and Defence Acquisitions Council have also accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for induction of several DRDO developed systems. Some of the notable systems include: Sarang ESM system, Light Tank, Tactical Advance Range Augmentation (TARA) kit, Long Range Guided Bomb (LRGB)-Gaurav, Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Medium Range (NASM-MR), Air surveillance radar for NGMV, Low Level Transportable Radar (LLTR) -Ashwini, New Generation Anti-radiation Missile (NGARM), Pralay, Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition for Pinaka, Self-Propelled Mine Burier, Infantry Combat Vehicle-Command, Anti-Personnel Fragmentation Mine ‘Ulk’, Infantry Floating Foot Bridge, Bridge Laying Tank (BLT) T-72 and ACADA.
The DRDO Chairman added that Authority Holding Sealed Particulars (AHSP) of Army version of Akash Weapon System have been handed over to Missile Systems Quality Assurance Agency and several major systems have either been completed or are in the final stages of user evaluation. These include Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Third Generation Helicopter Launch Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘Helina’, NAMIS (Tracked) and ‘Nag’ Anti-Tank Guided Missile, Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile, Mechanical Mine Layer (self-propelled), 84 mm Anti-Thermal/Anti-Laser Smoke Grenade, HEPF and RHE (Enhanced) Rocket Ammunition for Pinaka MRLS, 125 mm FSAPDS, Air Defence Fire Control Radar ‘Atulya’, Weapon Locating Radar for Mountains, V/UHF Manpack Software Defined Radio, P-16 Heavy Drop System, Portable Diver Detection Sonar System, Advanced Light Weight Torpedo, and Sea Water Purification Kit for Gaganyan Mission.
Dr Kamat stated that several systems are also undergoing developmental trials. These include Electronic Warfare Systems for Naval platforms under the programme Samudrika, Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence Interceptor AD-1 Missile, extended range version of BrahMos from Su-30 aircraft, Very Short Range Air Defence System, Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Short Range, Agni Prime, Vertical Launch-Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM), Akash-New Generation, Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM), Enhanced Range Pinaka Rocket System, High speed expendable Aerial Target ‘Abhyas’, Small Turbo Fan Engine, Kaveri Dry Engine WhAP-CBRN, Shatrughat and EW Systems for Plains and Desert Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar ‘Uttam’, Advanced Light Towed Array Sonar among others.
The DRDO Chairman said that it is expected that most of the systems under trials will be handed over to the users in the coming year. He summarised that five CCS programmes worth Rs 26,000 crore and 55 other projects worth Rs 11,000 crore were sanctioned in 2022. 32 previously sanctioned projects were successfully completed. Some other flagship programmes such as Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) are also under consideration for approval by CCS.
Dr Kamat brought out that in the past year, DRDO has signed 145 ToTs. Towards IP protection, 160 patents were filed and 100 have been granted during 2022. The fund limit under Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme was enhanced to Rs 50 crore from Rs 10 crore per project. This will enable DRDO to support industry for the development of more complex technologies. He mentioned that MoU was also signed between Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation and TDF to work jointly on advanced naval technologies. In addition, he mentioned that the 4th version of Dare to Dream contest has been launched by the Defence Minister. He informed that DRDO has now established a total of 15 DRDO-Industry-Academia Centres of Excellence (DIA-CoEs). Currently, 867 projects are on-going with academia at a cost of Rs 1,183 crore.