|A sum of Rs. 18,000 crore has been budgeted for the Defence Research and Development Organisation for 2018-19. Of this, 25-30 per cent has been earmarked for new projects, said S Christopher, Chairman, DRDO and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D.|
“We have lined up a slew of projects across all areas, including missiles," he told newspersons at the DefExpo2018, in which DRDO has showcased over 400 products.
Christopher also said around 275 patents have been given to DRDO in the last three years.
Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System is one of the important guns developed by DRDO with the help of two private companies as production partners.
“This has got huge potential as against the imported guns. We strongly feel that we may export the same," he said.
Light combat aircraft
The first squadron of the light combat aircraft has been formed.
“We have been asked to work on Mark II light combat aircraft, which will be another 201 aircraft. Between Mark 1 and II (LCA), it will be 324 aircraft, which will be one of the highest in the world with similar kind of aircraft,” he said.
“We are also asked to look into twin engine type of aircraft (fifth generation) for stealth application. At an appropriate time, we may migrate to unmanned aircraft also,” he said.
CP Ramanarayanan, DS & DG (Aero), DRDO, said the organisation is taking up a new project called Prahari to strengthen surveillance in the border.
Deep penetrating surveillance in the border will be possible by having a big aerostat on payloads that can see through the other side of the border.
The range will depend on the sensor, he said.
On Rustom 2, a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, he said it has been having a series of successful trials in aircraft, and this has been well proven. DRDO will now carry out payload trials, and all payloads will be completed by this year-end.
“We intend to complete our part of trials by this year-end," he said.
According to Satheesh Reddy, Distinguished Scientist, DRDO and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, another version of anti- tank missile that can be both launched from helicopter and also from ground will be taken up.
Also, there are plans for sand missile, including long range surface-to-air missile and air-to-ground missiles.