Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The Department of Defence Research and Development

In 1980, a new department out of The Defence Research and

Development Organization (DRDO) was formed. This department

formulates and executes programme of scientific research, design and

development leading to induction of state-of-the-art weapons, platforms

and other equipment required by the armed forces. The department has

acquired world class core competence in the area of Guided Missiles,

Super Computers, UAV, armaments and ammunition.

Today, DRDO is a network of more than 50 laboratories which are deeply

engaged in developing defence technologies covering various disciplines,

like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering

systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation,

special materials, naval systems, life sciences, training, information

systems and agriculture. Presently, the Organisation is backed by over

5000 scientists and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and

supporting personnel. Several major projects for the development of

missiles, armaments, light combat aircrafts, radars, electronic warfare

systems etc are on hand and significant achievements have already been

made in several such technologies.


India's Integrated Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was started

in 1982–83 by the Defence Research and Development Organization

(DRDO) under the chairmanship of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Agni, Prithvi,

Trishul, Akash, Nag and Astra also from part of the IGMDP, and DRDO is

working on development of specialized missiles such as Brahmos, and


(i) Agni


The Agni missile family is envisaged to be the mainstay of the Indian

missile-based strategic nuclear deterrence. The Agni family will continue

to grow its stable, providing a breadth of payload and range capabilities.

(2) of (9)

The Agni-I is a short range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a single stage

engine. While the Agni-II is an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM)

with two solid fuel stages and a Post Boost Vehicle (PBV) integrated into

the missile's Re-entry Vehicle (RV).


Agni-TD Two stage, solid booster and liquid fuelled second stage.

IRBM Technology Demonstrator.

Agni-I (A–1) Single stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile, shortrange

ballistic missile (SRBM).

Agni-II (A–2) Two stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile,

Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM).

Agni-IIAT (A-2AT) Improved A-2 variant using more advanced and

lighter material. Two-stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile IRBM.

Agni-III Two stage, solid fuel, submarine, road and rail mobile;


Agni-IV Three stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile, ICBM. (launch

failed in July 2006)

(ii) Prithvi

India launched the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program

(IGMDP) in 1983, to concurrently develop and produce a wide range of

missiles for surface-to-surface and surface-to-air roles. Prithvi was the

first missile developed as part of IGMDP.


SS-150/Prithvi-I is a battlefield support system for the army (range

150 km, 1,000 kg payloads). It is a single stage, dual engine, liquid

fuel, road-mobile, short-range, surface-to-surface missile.

SS-250/Prithvi-II is dedicated to the Indian Air Force (range 2500

km, 500-750 kg payloads). It is a single stage, dual engine, liquid

fuel, road-mobile, short-range surface-surface-missile. DRDO has

decided to increase the payload capability of the SS-250/Prithvi-II

variant to 1,000 kg by using boosted liquid propellant to generate

higher thrust-to-weight ratio.


SS-350/Prithvi-III is solid fuelled version with a 350 km range and a

1,000 kg payload. It is a two-stage, solid fuel, road-mobile, shortrange,

surface-to-surface missile. Sagarika and Prithvi-II are two

different acronyms for the same missile. A related program, known

as Project K-15, is in development and will enable the missile to be

(3) of (9)

launched from a submerged submarine.

Dhanush (in Sanskrit/Hindi means Bow) is a system consisting of a

stabilization platform (Bow) and the Missile (Arrow). The system

can fire either the SS-250 or the SS-350 variants. There may likely

be certain customization in missile configuration to certify it for sea



It is a medium-range, theatre defence surface-to-air missile. The

Akash's first flight occurred in 1990, with development flights up to March

1997. It operates in conjunction with the Rajendra surveillance and

engagement radar. This system will replace the SA–6/ Straight Flush in

Indian service and is also expected to be integrated with the S-300V lowto-

high altitude SAM in an integrated air defence system to counter

SRBM/IRBM threats along the Pakistani and Chinese borders.

(iv) Trishul

It is a short range, quick reaction, all weather surface-to-air

missile designed to counter a low-level attack. It has been flight

tested in the sea-skimming role and also against moving targets. It has a

range of 9 km and is fitted with a 5.5 kg HE-fragmented warhead. It's

detection of target to missile launch is around 6 seconds.

(v) Nag

It is a third generation, all weather, top-attack, fire-and-forget

anti-tank guided missile. It is one of five missile system developed by

the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) under the

Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Design work

on the missile started in 1988, and the first test were carried out in

November 1990.


Astra is a state-of-the-art beyond visual range air to air missile

(BVRAAM) designed for a range of over 80 km in head-on-mode

and 20 km in tail-chase mode. Its first test flight was conducted in May

2003. Astra can engage highly maneuvering targets.



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