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
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.
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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)
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
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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.
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.
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
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.