DRDO: Defence Research and Development Organisation

About DRDO

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military's research and development, headquartered in Delhi, India.

It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production of the Indian Ordnance Factories with the Defence Science Organisation. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India's largest and most diverse research organisation.

The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.


Key Description of DRDO:

Headquarters Location: DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi

Founded: 1958

Minister responsible: Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

Number of Employees: 30,000 (5000 scientists)

Subsidiaries: Defence Scientific Information & Documentation centre, Gas Turbine Research Establishment

Motto Sanskrit: बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम्
"Strength's Origin is in Science"

Annual Budget: ₹14,818.74 crore (US$2.1 billion)(2017-18)

Agency Executive: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Chairman, DRDO
Parent agency Ministry of Defence

DRDO Official Website


Organization of DRDO:


Cluster Laboratories/Establishment

Laboratory Name Location Area of Research
Advanced Numerical Research & Analysis Group (ANURAG) Hyderabad Computational System
Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) Missiles & Strategic Systems
Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment (ADRDE) Agra Parachutes & Aerial Systems
Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) Bengaluru Aeronautics
Armaments Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune Armaments
Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) Bengaluru Air-Borne Systems
Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR) Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
Centre for Fire, Explosives & Environment Safety (CFEES) Delhi Explosives
Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) Hyderabad High Energy Weapons
Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) Chennai Combat Vehicles
Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) Bengaluru Avionics
Defence Bio-engineering & Electro-medical Laboratory (DEBEL) Bio-engineering
Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) Dehradun Electronics & Communication Systems
Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) Mysore Food Research
Defence Institute of Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) Haldwani Bio-Energy
Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) Leh High Altitude Agro-animal Research
Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) Delhi Physiology
Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) Psychological Research
Defence Laboratory (DL) Jodhpur Camouflaging and Isotopes
Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) Hyderabad Electronic Warfare
Defence Materials & Stores Research & Development Establishment (DMSRDE) Kanpur Textiles, Polymers & Composites
Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) Hyderabad Metallurgy
Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE) Gwalior Chemical & Biological Warfare
Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) Hyderabad Missile & Strategic Systems
Defence Research Laboratory (DRL) Tezpur Health & Hygiene
Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL) Delhi Terrain Research
Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) Bengaluru Gas Turbine
High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune High Energy Materials
Institute of Nuclear Medicines & Allied Sciences (INMAS) Delhi Nuclear Medicine
Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE) Dehradun Electronics & Optical Systems
Integrated Test Range (ITR) Balasore Missile & Strategic Systems
Joint Cipher Bureau (JCB) Delhi Cipher Systems
Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) Laser Technology
Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) Bengaluru Radars
Microwave Tube Research & Development Centre (MTRDC) Microwave Devices
Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) Ambernath Naval Materials
Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) Kochi Sonar Systems
Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL) Visakhapatnam Underwater Weapons
Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) Balasore Armament Testing
Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad Missile & Strategic Systems
Research & Development Establishment (Engrs) (R&DE(E)) Pune Engineering Systems & Weapon Platforms
Scientific Analysis Group (SAG) Delhi Cryptology
Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) Chandigarh Snow and Avalanche
Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL) Delhi Solid- State/ Semiconductor Materials
Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) Chandigarh Ballistics
Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) Ahmednagar Wheeled Vehicles


HR Institutions:

Institution Name Location Area
Centre for Personnel Talent Management (CEPTAM) Delhi Talent Management
Institute of Technology Management (ITM) Mussoorie Technology Management
Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) Delhi Human Resource


Other Institutions:

Institution Name Location Area of Research
Advanced Centre for Energetic Materials (ACEM) Nashik High Energy Materials
Centre for Advanced Systems (CAS) Hyderabad Advanced Systems
Centre for Military Air-worthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) Bengaluru Airworthiness & Certification
Defence Scientific Information & Documentation Centre (DESIDOC) Delhi Information System and Documentation
DRDO Integration Centre (DIC) Panagarh Systems Integration
Institute for Systems Studies & Analyses (ISSA) Delhi Systems Analysis
Mobile Systems Complex (MSC) Pune Missile Systems
SF Complex (SFC) Jagdalpur Propellant


Centres of Excellence:

Center Name Location Area of Research
DRDO Bharathiar University (DRDO-BU), Centre of Excellence Coimbatore Life Sciences
Advanced Centre for Research in High Energy Materials (ACRHEM) Hyderabad High Energy Materials
Centre of Excellence in Cryptology Kolkata Cryptology
Centre of Millimeter Wave Semiconductor Devices and Systems Kolkata Millimeter Wave and Semiconductor
Advanced Centre for Excellence on Composite Materials (ACECM) Bengaluru Composite Materials
Research and Innovation Centre (RIC) Chennai Sensors & MEMS
Centre of Propulsion Technology (CoPT) Mumbai Propulsion Technology
Jagdish Chandra Bose Centre for Advanced Technology (JCBCAT) Jadavpur Strategic Systems
Joint Advanced Technology Centre (JATC) Delhi Photonic Technologies, Plasmonics and Quantum Photonics
Centre of Excellence in Systems Design and Engineering Mumbai Systems Design


Projects: Aeronautics

Tejas - Light Combat Aircraft
Tejas - Light Combat Aircraft

The DRDO is responsible for the ongoing Light Combat Aircraft. The LCA is intended to provide the Indian Air Force with a modern, fly by wire, multi-role fighter, as well as develop the aviation industry in India.

The LCA programme has allowed DRDO to progress substantially in the fields of avionics, flight control systems, aircraft propulsion and composite structures, along with aircraft design and development.

The DRDO provided key avionics for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI programme under the "Vetrivel" programme. Systems developed by DRDO include radar warning receivers, radar and display computers. DRDO's radar computers, manufactured by HAL are also being fitted into Malaysian Su-30s.

The DRDO is part of the Indian Air Force's upgrade programmes for its MiG-27 and Sepecat Jaguar combat aircraft, along with the manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. DRDO and HAL have been responsible for the system design and integration of these upgrades, which combine indigenously developed systems along with imported ones. DRDO contributed subsystems like the Tarang radar warning receiver, Tempest jammer, core avionics computers, brake parachutes, cockpit instrumentation and displays.

HAL AMCA: Aeronautical Development Agency of DRDO is responsible for the design and development of the fifth-generation aircraft. In 2015, 700 ADA employees were working on the project along with 2,000 employees of DRDO.

AMCA Stealth Fighter Aircraft
AMCA Stealth Fighter Aircraft



The DRDO has steadily increased its radar development. The result has been substantial progress in India's ability to design and manufacture high power radar systems with locally sourced components and systems.

This began with the development of short-range 2D systems (Indra-1) and has now extended to high power 3D systems like LRTR intended for strategic purposes. Several other projects span the gamut of radar applications, from airborne surveillance (AEW&C) to firecontrol radars (land based and airborne). A list of the tactical programs is as follows:

1.) Army

  • Multifunction Phased Array Radar and 3D Surveillance
  • Radar for Akash Missile Weapon System (Rajendra & 3D CAR respectively). In production.
  • Low Level Light weight 2D Radar for mountainous terrain Air Defence (Bharani). In production.
  • Low Level Light weight 3D Radar for mountainous terrain Air Defence (Bharani Mk2). In production.
  • 3D -Tactical Control Radar for Air Defence (3D TCR). In production.
  • 4D -Active Aperture Array Tactical Control Radar for Air Defence (4D TCR). In development.
  • Short Range Battle Field Surveillance Radar (2D BFSR-SR). In production.
  • Weapon Locating Radar (3D WLR). In production.
  • 3D -Atulya ADFCR (Air Defense Fire Control Radar). In development.
  • Multi Mission Radar (MMSR). Project cancelled and subsumed into QRSAM (Quick Reaction SAM) program.
    FOPEN Radar. In development.
  • Through wall detection Radar. In development.
  • Ground Penetration Radar. In development.


2.) Air Force

  • Multifunction Phased Array Radar and 3D Surveillance
  • Radar for Akash Missile Weapon System (Rajendra and 3D CAR respectively). In production.
  • Active Phased Array Radar for AEW&C. In production.
  • Low level 2D Air Defence Radar (Indra-2). Production closed and items delivered.
  • 3D Low Level Light Weight Radar (Aslesha). In production.
  • 3D Low Level Light Weight Radar for Mountains (Aslesha Mk2). In development.
  • 3D Medium Range Surveillance Radar for Air Defence (Rohini derivative of 3D CAR)
  • 4D Active Array Medium Power radar for AD role (Arudhra). In production.
  • 4D Active Array Low Level Transportable radar for AD role (Ashwini). In production.
  • 4D Active Array High Power radar for AD role. In development.
  • 4D Active Array for AWACS India project. In development.
  • 3D Active Array Multi Function Radar for BMD role (MFCR). In production.
  • 3D Active Array Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR) for BMD role. In production.
  • 4D Active Array Very Long Range Tracking radar for BMD role (VLRTR). In development.
  • Airborne Electronically Scanned Array Radar for Tejas Mark 1A and Tejas Mk2(Uttam). In development.
  • Ground Controlled interception
  • SAR for UAVs


3.) Navy

  • Maritime Patrol Radar for fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft (superseded by a more advanced system, the XV-2004)
  • Maritime Patrol Radar with RS and ISAR (XV-2004)
  • 3D Medium-Range Surveillance Radar for ASW Corvettes. In production.
  • Multifunction Phased Array Radar for Air Defence Ship. In development.
  • Maritime Patrol Airborne Radar for UAV. In development.
    Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR). In production.


Missile System:

Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

The IGMDP was launched by the Indian Government to develop the ability to develop and design a missile locally, and manufacture a range of missile systems for the three defence services.

The programme has seen significant success in its two most important constituents – the Agni missiles and the Prithvi missiles, while two other programmes, the Akash SAM and the anti-tank Nag Missile have seen significant orders.

The Trishul missile, a programme to develop a tri-service short-range SAM faced persistent problems throughout its development, and was terminated in 2007.

Prithvi: The Prithvi (Earth) missiles are a range of SRBMs produced for the Indian Air Force and Army; a variant for the Navy has been deployed on Sukanya class patrol vessel. Another submarine-launched variant known as the K-15 is under development. The Prithvi is an extremely accurate liquid fuelled missile with a range of up to 350 km. While relatively inexpensive and accurate, with a good payload, its logistics footprint is high, on account of it being liquid fuelled.

Agni: Agni A1-06 missile flight tested from Wheeler Island on 1 December 2011.

The Agni (Fire) ballistic missiles are a range of MRBMs, IRBMs, ICBMs meant for long-range deterrence. The Agni-III has range of up to 3,500 km (2,175 mi). The Agni-I and Agni-II have been productionised, although exact numbers remain classified.

First trials of the Agni-III saw problems and the missile test did not meet its objectives. The second test was successful. Further tests of the Agni-III are planned to validate the missile and its subsystems, which include new propellant and guidance systems, a new reentry vehicle and other improvements.

The Agni-V missile is an Intercontinental ballistic missile meant for long-range deterrence. The Agni-V is the newest version and has the longest range of up to 5000–6000 km.

Agni-V would also carry Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle payloads and will have countermeasures against Anti-ballistic missile systems. It was successfully test-fired on 19 April 2012.

The missile will utilise a canister and will be launched from it. Sixty percent of the missile will be similar to the Agni-III missile. Advanced technologies like ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer will be used in the new missile.

DRDO plans to develop reusable missiles which will be a combination of ballistic and cruise missile technology. During an interview in 24 August 2014, The DRDO chief disclosed the plans of DRDO designing a Long Range ballistic Anti-Ship missile.

Akash: Akash Surface to Air Missile System flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur
The Akash (Sky or ether) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system consisting of the command guidance ramjet powered Akash along with the dedicated service specific launchers, battery control radar (the Rajendra Block III), a central acquisition radar, battery and group control centres. The Akash project has yielded spinoffs like the Central Acquisition radar and weapon locating radar.

The Akash system cleared its user trials with the Indian Air Force in 2007. The user trials had the Akash intercept flying targets at ITR, Chandipur. The Akash missile struck its targets in every test. The Indian Air force has since been satisfied with the performance of the missile and ordered two squadrons of the Akash, with a squadron having eight launchers.

The Indian Air Force placed an order for an additional six squadrons of the Akash SAM in 2010, with an order of 750 missiles (125 per squadron). This order makes a total of a 1000 Akash SAMs on order for the Indian Air Force for eight squadrons.

In June 2010, the Defence Acquisition Council placed an order of the Akash missile system, valued at ₹12,500 crore (US$1.8 billion). Bharat Dynamics Limited will be the system integrator and nodal production agency for the Akash Army variant.

Trishul: The Trishul (Trident) is a short range surface-to-air missile developed by India. It was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It can also be used as an anti-sea skimmer from a ship against low flying attacking missiles.

Trishul has a range of 9 km (5.6 mi) It is powered by a dual thrust propulsion stage using high-energy solid propellant. Trishul weighs 130 kg (290 lb) and is capable of carrying a 15 kg (33 lb) warhead.

The Trishul missile project was commissioned in 1983 as a part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The project was to be completed by 1992 and the missile would be fitted to Brahmaputra-class frigates as an anti-sea skimmer.

In 1985, Trishul made its first unguided flight from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The missile made its first full range guided flight in 1989. In 1992, the missile was successfully tested against a target and reached Mach 2 speed.

In 1997, the associated radar systems for detecting the incoming sea-skimmer were operational. The launch system was developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited in 1998.

In 2003, Government of India announced that the missile will be a technology demonstrator and de-linked it from other projects. The missile was successfully test-fired in 2005.

The development cost of the programme was ₹2.826 billion (US$40 million) and the Defence minister announced the official closure of the programme in 2008.

Nag: The Nag anti-tank missile (Cobra) is a guided missile system intended for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.

The Army will deploy the Nag on ground-based launchers and from helicopters, whereas the Air Force will rely on helicopter based units. The Nag has an Imaging Infrared (IIR) seeker and has a top and direct attack capability, with a tandem warhead.

The Army's land missile carrier and launcher, known as the Namica, carries several ready to use Nag missiles within and four Nag missiles in an extendable launcher above the turret. The Namica has its own FLIR based sighting and fire control unit.

Nag Missile: The Air Force and Army will also use their Advanced Light helicopters (ALH) (HAL Dhruv) and the HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LHC) as Nag carriers. The ALHs will be equipped with IRDE (DRDO) developed HELITIS (Heliborne Imaging and Targeting systems) with a combination of a FLIR and laser range finder in a stabilised turret for target acquisition and designation.

The thermal imager is likely to be imported, but the gimballed turret, stabilisation, laser range finder and associated electronics have been designed in India and will be manufactured locally.

The Nag ATGM is regarded as a highly capable missile, even though its development has been protracted, mainly due to the technological challenges of developing a state of the art IIR sensor equipped top attack missile. The Nag is still cheaper than most imported missiles in its category and is earmarked for the Army and Air Force.

The Nag anti-tank guided missile was cleared for production in July 2009 and there are uncorroborated reports since that it may be purchased by Tanzania, Botswana and Morocco.

The Nag will complement the existing Russian 9M113 Konkurs Anti-tank guided missile and European missile MILAN in Indian usage, both of which are manufactured under licence by Bharat Dynamics Limited.

Brahmos: Launched as a joint venture between India's DRDO and the Russian NPO, the BrahMos programme aims at creating a range of missile systems derived from the Yakhont missile system. Named the "BrahMos" after the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers, the project has been highly successful.

BrahMos: The Indian Navy has ordered the BrahMos Naval version, both slant-launched and vertically launched, for its ships; the Indian Army has ordered two regiments worth of land-launched missiles for long-range strike; and an air-launched version is in development for the Indian Air Force's Su-30 MKIs and the Navy's Tu-142 long-range aircraft.

The DRDO has been responsible for the navigational systems on the BrahMos, aspects of its propulsion, airframe and seeker, plus its Fire Control Systems, Mobile Command posts and Transporter Erector Launcher.

An upgraded version of the 290 km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired by India on 2 December 2010 from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Orissa coast.

"Block III version of BrahMos with advanced guidance and upgraded software, incorporating high manoeuvres at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude was flight tested successfully from Launch Complex III of ITR," its Director S P Dash said after the test-firing from a mobile launcher at 1100 hours. The 8.4-metre missile which can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound is capable of carrying conventional warheads of up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km.

It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as ten metres for surgical strikes at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage. BrahMos is capable of being launched from multiple platforms like submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The Block III BrahMos has the capability of scaling mountain terrain and can play a vital role in precision strike in the northern territories. The advanced cruise missile can fly close to the rough geographies and kill the target A five-year development timeframe is anticipated.

The hypersonic Brahmos 2 is to be developed as a follow on to the original Brahmos. The missile would fly at speeds of 5-7 Mach.

Nirbhay: Nirbhay (Fearless) is a long range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile powered by solid rocket booster and turbofan or a turbojet engine that can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.

The missile is guided by an inertial navigation system and a radio altimeter for the height determination.

It carries a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control and navigation system with additional MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with radiodetermination-satellite service GPS/NAVIC.

With a range of about 1000 km, Nirbhay is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements.