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Five DRDO Techs that are Killing it on India's Defense Sector


Remember when India became the fourth nation in the world to possess ASAT (Anti-Satellite System) that destroys satellites in low earth-orbit? Then Muntra became the nation’s first unmanned tank detecting mines with its three variants. Better yet, the first anti-radiation missile is called Rudram set for 2023. Behind all these advanced intricate technologies lies a premier agency under the Department of Defense Research & Development in the Ministry of Defense of the government of India. It happens to be India's largest and most diverse research organization and that is the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) which has been on duty since 1958.

DRDO holds such a major standing in the defense syllabus of the nation that it’s quite a significant topic for the IAS aspirants. Also, this year, it again made headlines by successfully deploying a satellite in space named 'Sindhu Netra', to provide a better vision monitoring military warships and merchant shipping activities in the nation. With that said, here’s to the five latest technologies indigenously devised in its barracks.

Meet Astra India's first Beyond Air-to-Air Missile
The maneuverable, accurate, and reliable missile holds a high single-shot kill probability (SSKP) and is said to mark its attendance for all seasons or weather conditions to be precise. It works well in a crowded setting with its electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) feature increasing its target tracking capability by decreasing the influence of adversary electronic countermeasures. Developed as part of the Indian Ministry of Defense’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), Astra has been tested by DRDO in mission analysis, system design, simulation, and post-flight analysis. Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)teamed to build the Su-30MKI fighter jet for the Indian Air Force. The missile also teams up with Mirage 2000 multi-role fighters, Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), MiG-29 and MiG-21 Bison fighter jet platforms, and the Indian Navy's Sea Harrier jet fighter. For the Air Force and the Navy, the Indian government has already ordered over 288 Astra Mk-I missiles. With exceptional maneuverability and supersonic speeds, it will most definitely shoot down aerial targets. As its sophisticated air combat capabilities give it the power to take on multiple aerial targets.

Speaking of aerial targets and air combat capabilities, DRDO’s next smart innovation is also an advanced aerial battler.

Go 'Soft Kill' or 'Hard Kill' with this Anti-Drone Technology
This technology was tested at the NSG facility in Manesar and on the Amritsar border as well. The radar detection range of the DRDO anti-drone system goes up to four kilometers, its jamming range is more than two kilometers, and the kill shot range is more than one kilometer. It gives the military two options, either the 'soft kill' way or the 'hard kill' way for dealing with any evolving aerial foe. The first refers to a jamming mechanism when dealing with hostile drones, while the second is a sure-fatal laser beam mechanism. Its radar detects micro drones and, following proper verification by a sensor, hands over the track for the soft and hard kill. Once RF detection and verification by an EO/IR sensor have been confirmed, the system is ready to jam RF/GNSS signals or fire a laser weapon in accordance with conventional operating protocols. Bharat Electronics Limited and three private Indian companies have already inked technology transfer agreements with the government agency to mass-produce it.

Helina Can Cancel the Life-Subscription of Large Tanks in a Single Blow
Say hello to Helina, an anti-guided Nag missile renamed as Dhruvastra that underwent flight tests by the DRDO that tested the missile in direct and top attack mode at the Interim Test Range in Balasore, Odisha. This Kamehameha shooting machine is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile with a fire-and-forget capability and it can support both the Indian Army's airborne and mechanized infantry divisions. It can be launched from both land and air platforms, while there’s already a land version that can be integrated into the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA). The missile boasts a sophisticated passive homing guidance system with a high single-shot hit probability. It’s this ability that makes it the worst nightmare for heavy-armed tanks and new-generation Main Battle Tanks that can be blown off in a single shot. This missile was developed as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Other missiles developed under the IGMDP include Agni, Akash, Trishul, and Prithvi. For the weapon, Bharat Dynamics (BDL) has developed imaging infrared seekers.

The missile boasts a sophisticated passive homing guidance system with a high single-shot hit probability.

Taste What it's Like to Control Multiple Guns at the Same Time with ADFCR
The Air Defense Fire Control Radar (ADFCR) works in tandem with Anti-Aircraft Guns to form a Ground-Based Air Defense system has a primary mission is to provide effective point defense against air threats at short and extremely short ranges at all times of day and night, in all weather situations. X-Band Active Array Antenna based 3D-Search Radar, Ka-Band Tracking Radar, Electro-Optical Sensors for passive 2D-tracking & LRF for Radar independent ranging, Gun Control Unit, Power Generator, and a suitably equipped Commander's cabin mounted on a single High Mobility Vehicle comprise the system. This system is capable of controlling multiple guns at the same time.

QRSAM's Maneuverable Shield Has Got it all Covered
The QRSAM is a canister-based system, like many modern missiles, which means it is stored and controlled in specifically built compartments. It’s due to such a setting that it extends the shelf life of weapons while also making transportation and storage easier. The QRSAM is a short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system aimed at shielding moving armored columns of the Army against enemy aerial strikes. The complete armament system has been designed to be mobile and maneuverable, allowing it to provide air defense while on the move. It has a range of 25 to 30 km and was designed for Army indoctrination. A completely automated command and control system, two radars, one, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar and the other, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar including a launcher makes up the QRSAM weapon ensemble, which operates on the move. Both radars provide 360-degree coverage and the ability to search on move and track on move. The system is small, uses a single-stage solid-propelled missile, and includes a DRDO-based mid-course inertial navigation system with a two-way data link and terminal active seeker.

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