(The Gist of Science Reporter) The journey of building defence technological capability 

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) The journey of building defence technological capability 


The journey of building defence technological capability 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

  • DRDO developed UAV Lakshya has been proven and is being successfully utilised by the Services. It is a cost effective re-usable subsonic aerial target system powered by a gas turbine engine and launched either from land or ship.
  • Nishant is a multi-mission UAV with day/night capability used for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance, target tracking & localisation, and artillery fire correction. 
  • A sophisticated image processing system is used for analysing the images transmitted from the UAV. 
  • Rustom-I is an all composite, 800 kg class remotely piloted aircraft system having capabilities of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Target Acquisition/Tracking and Image Exploitation. 
  • Rustom-I is the first Indian remotely piloted system to have conventional take-off and landing capability. 
  • It has autonomous flight mode and Get-to-Home features. Rustom-II is a platform being developed for long duration surveillance and reconnaissance, target identification, target tracking and battlefield damage assessment. 
  • It can carry a variety of various electro-optical and intelligence payloads. This will provide continuous wide area coverage and yet be able to identify small targets.
  • Another multi-mission UAV is being developed to carry out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles.
  • Abhyas being developed is expendable, low cost, high speed unmanned aerial target fitted with sensors and is GPS enabled. It will have onboard actuators, a flight control computer and a miss distance indicator. In addition, supersonic aerial target is also under development.

Fighter Aircrafts:

  • First Technology Demonstrator of Tejas, flew its maiden flight on 4 January 2001. 
  • Tejas Mk-1 is an all-weather multi-role fighter capable of carrying close combat and beyond visual range air-to-air missiles coupled with multimode air-interception radar for the air defence role. 
  • It is capable of delivering all types of conventional bombs and Laser Guided Bombs in the ground attack role. Tejas Mk-1 is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat fighter aircrafts. The aircraft is equipped with advanced avionics systems and sensors for an excellent flying experience.

Radars and Surveillance Systems:

  • The contribution of DRDO in improving the air defence ground environmental system of the Nation is immense. Many radars have been designed and developed by DRDO, which are network ready.
  • Weapon locating radar called Swathi to identify the location of hostile artillery, mortars and rocket launchers, based on the projectile trajectory has been developed exclusively for army applications. This radar has got export orders also. 
  • Battle field surveillance radar has been developed for frontline units of the Indian Army and hundreds of these radars are already being used in the field. Low level tracking radar for applications in mountains has been developed and is being used by the Indian Army.
  • Through wall imaging radar, a sensor used for detection and location of static and moving targets, especially human beings behind walls, is under development. foliage penetration radar is under development for detection of personnel and vehicles hiding behind camouflaged tree and forest cover for low-intensity conflict. 
  • Many of the DRDO developed radars are integrated to provide a composite air situation picture to display and control every airborne platform over the entire Indian airspace including the island territories.
  • The lower range ‘Aslesha’ low level light weight radar can be carried by two people. It can also be carried under slung below a helicopter. These radars are deployed to plug gaps in the air defence surveillance especially in mountainous and remote areas.

Electronic Warfare Systems

  • Electronic Warfare (EW) plays a crucial role in modern day air combat. Several elements of EW self-protection suite developed by DRDO are installed on IAF fighter and transport aircraft and helicopters. These are radar warning receivers, countermeasures dispensing system, missile approach warning system, jammers etc. 
  • DRDO has developed software defined radios in 5 form-factors to provide wireless secure communication capability to both mobile and fixed forces as required by the Indian Navy.

Naval Systems and Applications:

  • DRDO has worked on the development of materials for the construction of naval platforms. High strength steels for the construction of submarine hulls have been developed. Henceforth, all Indian submarines will be made with Indian steel. Besides, for shipbuilding DRDO has developed steel plates that are about one fourth to one eighth the cost of imported plates.
  • Some other technologies developed by DRDO include titanium sponge produced indigenously from the sands of Kerala; rubber tiles to reduce transmitted noise for submarines; epoxy putty for fixing the tiles; air independent propulsion system that enhances the submerged endurance of the submarine.
  • DRDO is in advanced stage of development of submarine periscope. Submarine hoistable masts for periscope, radar and communication antennae are also being developed.
  • DRDO is developing a universal vertical launcher capable of launching all the indigenous missiles onboard Indian Naval Ships.
  • Sonars developed by DRDO are in use in various ships and submarines of the Indian Navy. The Sonar suites are being productionised by M/s BEL. Sonar domes and sonobuoys developed by DRDO are also being used by the Indian Navy.

Underwater Weapons and Countermeasure Systems:

  • DRDO has developed multi-purpose torpedoes along with Torpedo fire control systems for the Indian Navy. Advanced light weight torpedo is an anti-submarine, electrically propelled, self-homing torpedo which can be launched from ship and rotary-wing aircraft.
  • Varunastra is ship launched, heavy weight, electrically-propelled, anti-submarine torpedo capable of targeting quiet submarines, both in deep and shallow waters in an intense countermeasure environment.
  • Electrical heavy weight torpedo, a new generation torpedo that can be launched from both ships and submarines for anti-submarine warfare, is under development. Jalastra, a medium weight torpedo capable of being launched from naval platforms, is also under development.
  • DRDO has developed triple tube launchers, which are being productionised by the private industry and are deployed on many Indian Navy Ships.
  • Mareech advanced torpedo defence system is a torpedo detection and countermeasure system capable of detecting, confusing, diverting and decoying incoming torpedoes. DRDO has also demonstrated missile assisted release of light weight anti-submarine torpedo system for underwater warfare operations far beyond torpedo range.
  • Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech UNaTI (Undertaking Nationally relevant Technology Innovation) Mission
  • Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech UNaTI (Undertaking Nationally relevant Technology Innovation) Mission was launched in February 2019 with a major focus on improved agriculture, affordable healthcare, clean energy and cutting-edge frontier science. A brief on the UNaTI mission is enumerated below:
  • GARBH-ini a unique pregnancy cohort comprising more than 8000 women was established to study Pre Term Birth (PTB).
  • AMR Mission will assure readiness for diagnostics, therapeutics and preventive measures against drugresistant microbes. A National AMRspecific Pathogen priority list for India to prioritise R&D work in AMR was developed in collaboration with WHO, Country Office, New Delhi.
  • Ind-CEPI Mission is an India-centric collaborative mission aligned to the global initiatives of CEPI (Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) being implemented at BIRAC. Under this mission, an eCourse Series “Strengthening Clinical Trial Research Capacity in Neighbouring Countries” benefitted more than 750 participants from neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Srilanka.
  • UNATI Mission Clean Technologies for Swachh Bharat: DBT has developed various technology platforms designed to convert different solid, liquid and gaseous wastes into renewable fuels, energy and useful products such as food, feed, polymers and chemicals. Ten promising clean technologies were identified for demonstration at different sites across India, in collaboration with local stakeholders such as municipalities.
  • The identified technologies include bio-methanation, constructed wetland, bio-toilets, chemical & membrane-free water purification, etc.
  • Fortified Wheat Nutritional Improvement: Anthocyanin rich biofortified coloured wheat lines were developed by National AgriFood Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali. 18 MoUs with companies from 9 states and Non-Disclosure Agreements with 9 companies from 4 States involved in contract farming and making food products were signed.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter