National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 01 February 2020
DRDO at DefExpo 2020
A wide range of strategic and tactical weapon systems, defence equipment and technologies developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be on display at the DefExpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow from February 05-09, 2020. DRDO will be highlighting products from its eight technology clusters, Aeronautical Systems, Armament & Combat Engineering (ACE), Electronics and Communication Systems (ECS), Life Sciences (LS), Micro Electronic Devices and Computational Systems (MED & CoS), Missile & Strategic Systems (MSS), Naval Systems & Materials (NS & M) and System Analysis and Modelling (SAM). Technology clusters, each headed by a Director General are entrusted with design and development of systems, products and core defence technologies.
DRDO will be a major participant at 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition DefExpo 2020. DRDO will be highlighting more than 500 indigenously developed products with active participation from major laboratories belonging to different technology clusters.
Aeronautical Systems (Aero) cluster is engaged in the development of Fighter Aircrafts, UAVs, Gas Turbine Engine Technologies, Airborne Surveillance Systems, Parachutes and Lighter-than-Air Systems. Notable achievements of the cluster include India’s first light weight, multi-role, combat aircraft Tejas which has been inducted into 45th Squadron of Indian Air Force. Model of the Naval version of LCA which successfully landed onboard INS Vikramaditya at sea using arrested hook will be on display. Achievements of the cluster include the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), Unmanned Aerial Aircraft (Rustom-II), Advanced Pilotless Target Aircraft (Lakshya-II), Heavy Drop System (HDS) and Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile (Nirbhay). Key exhibits from the cluster will include LCA Mk-II on the tarmac while indoor exhibits include models of LCA Mk-I, LCA Navy, AEW&C, Aerostat and Kaveri Engine among others. Nirbhay and Rustom-II models will be on display in the India Pavilion.
Armament and Combat Engineering (ACE) cluster focuses on armaments, explosives, land based combat vehicles and military engineering equipment. In the area of armaments, the cluster has been at the forefront of achieving high degree of self-reliance in ammunition, missiles, gun propellants, high explosives for warheads, electro explosive devices, high energy materials. In the area of combat engineering, the cluster is engaged in the development of weapon systems and platforms like Arjun Main Battle Tank, Bridging Systems, and Launchers for missiles including wheeled and tracked vehicles. Notable achievements from this cluster include Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher, Guided Pinaka, Precision Guided Munitions, Sarvatra bridging system, and Anti-Thermal, Anti-Laser Smoke Grenades. Highlights from the ACE cluster include live demonstration of the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Arjun MBT Mk IA, Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP), Counter Mine Flail, and deployment of Advanced Composite Modular Bridging System (ACMBS). Outdoor exhibits include Arjun MBT Mk I, Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (AUGV), WhAP, ATAGS and the UXOR robot. Indoor exhibits from the cluster include ROV Daksh, CSROV-Mini, SROV-Scout, NBC RV MK-I, AERV, CBRN Mini UGV, AAD, MPDS, BMCS, ATGM, EDK, Pinaka Mk-I and Mk-II Rocket Systems.
Electronics and Communication Systems (ECS) cluster designs and develops electronic, electro-optical and laser based products and systems in areas of Radars, Electro-optics, Laser Sources and Communication Systems. ECS cluster has been at the front of development of Electronic Warfare Systems, Integrated Signal Intelligence System (Divya Drishti), Compact communication electronic warfare suite, Medium Power Radar and Low Level Transportable Radar for Air Force, Weapon Locating Radar, Battle Field Surveillance Radar, 3D Low Level lightweight Radar, Software Defined Radio (SDR), Integrated Multifunction Sight, Small Arms Advanced Holographic Sight, Eye Safe Lasers, Night Vision Devices, Border Surveillance System, Laser Ordnance Disposal Systems, Laser Dazzlers, Optical Target locators and Explosive detectors.
Major exhibits from the ECS cluster at the India pavilion include QRSAM Radar, Atulya Fire Control Radar, SDR System and Naval Communication Intelligence System (Nayan). Various hand-held products such as Thermal Imagers, Ground Penetrating Radar and Optical Target Locater will be on display. Outdoor exhibits will include 4D active phased array multifunction radar (Ashwini). Other displays include Laser Fence, Laser Dazzler and various Surveillance Systems among others. Indoor exhibits include models of Data Link System for Rustom II, Laser ordinance disposal system (LORDS), Hand held explosive identifier (Preemptor) and other technologies.
Life Sciences (LS) cluster supports Indian Armed Forces in the area developing systems for optimising the psychological, physiological and nutritional well-being of solders with life support systems, protective equipment against Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) and other operational hazards. Life Support systems have been developed for extreme conditions of cold to high altitude to deep sea submarine escape suits. High altitude agriculture and livestock rearing technologies are other achievements of the cluster. Outdoor exhibits from LS cluster will showcase products such as Biodigester, Biotoilet, Iron Removal Unit, Motor Bike Ambulance, Mobile Whole Body Counter whereas the indoor exhibits will include survival equipment, detection and diagnostic equipment and products necessary for operating in the most hazardous environments.
Micro Electronic Devices and Computational Systems (MED & CoS) cluster focuses on micro-electronic and computational technologies for mission critical products on the battle field. The cluster develops technologies and products relating to Microwave Tubes, Solid State Electronics, Micro Electronic Devices, as well as systems and technologies in the area of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Command and Control Systems, Battlefield Networking, Information and Communication Security, Secure/Trusted Computing Platforms, High Performance Computing, Cryptology, Information and Cyber Security. Exhibits at India Pavilion will include robotic products (KRIDA, Robot Sentry). Indoor exhibits include RF Devices, E-Nasika, Mini UGV, Secure Mobile Handset among other.
Missile cluster is responsible for the design and development of state-of-the-art Missiles and Strategic Systems required for the deterrence and defence of the nation. India’s first ASAT missile used in Mission Shakti to demonstrate anti-satellite precision strike capability will be on display at the DefExpo. The cluster has developed a wide range of strategic and tactical missile systems. Apart from the strategic systems (Agni and Prithvi missiles), the cluster has developed tactical weapon systems such as the Brahmos family of supersonic cruise missiles, , the Akash family of surface to air missiles, LRSAM/MRSAM family of surface to air missiles, Astra beyond visual range air to air missile and the Nag/Helina family of anti-tank guided missiles. The displays include A-SAT, Astra and SAAW in the India pavilion. Outdoor missile display will include LRSAM and Brahmos Mobile Autonomous Launcher. The indoor exhibits will include models of Nag, Helina, Astra, LRSAM, QRSAM, NGARM, Akash, Prithvi, and multiple products and technologies such as RLG based INS-GPS, System on Chip, Brahmos OBC & MIU among other highlights.
Naval Systems & Materials (NS&M) cluster has designed and developed underwater weapons, mines, decoys, fire control systems, and sensors systems for sea and sub-sea application in the Naval arena. Technologies such as Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) for naval platforms, high performance speciality alloys have been developed. The cluster has been spearing ahead in self-reliance in the area of Sonars (USHUS-2, HUMSA NG/UG, ABHAY) and Torpedoes (TAL, Varunastra, ALWT) and has delivered major Ship and Submarine systems to the Indian Navy. The NSM cluster will exhibit Heavy Weight Torpedo (Varunastra) in the outdoor area. Indoor displays will include Torpedoes (TAL, ALWT), Decoy systems (ATDS-X, Maareech), various sonar systems (ALTAS-X, Hull Mounted, Dunking) and various products related to NBC and Radiation detection with focus on naval application.
System Analysis & Modelling (SAM) cluster is enabling DRDO and the Services in tactical and operational analysis of current and future technologies as well as weapon systems and platforms. Simulation and War gaming systems have been designed and developed in the cluster. SAM provides technology directions and develops policies for IPR, Software Quality, Reliability and Safety. At India Pavilion, the cluster will be exhibiting War Gaming, while indoor exhibits will include working models of Integrated Fire Suppression System (IFDSS), Mobile Ramp (MMR) and the Army Air Defence Deployment Simulator System (A2D2S2).
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.