Defence Research and Development Organisation

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Last Updated: September 1, 2005
Other Name: DRDO
Location: Many different labs located throughout India; main headquarters in New Delhi, India
Subordinate To: Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Size: DRDO currently consists of between 47-50 labs and employs between 5,000-16,000 scientists and around 20,000-25,000 other scientific, technical, and supporting personnel.
Facility Status: Active

The DRDO was formed in 1958 following the merge of the Technical Development Establishment (TDE) of the Indian Army, the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) and the Defence Science Organisation (DSO).

DRDO laboratories conduct research in a number of fields, such as aeronautics, rockets and missiles, electronics and instrumentation, combat vehicles, engineering, naval systems, armament technology including explosives research, terrain research, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, works study, systems analysis, and life sciences, including high-altitude agriculture, physiology, food technology, and nuclear medicine.

In addition, DRDO laboratories give technical advice regarding formulation of requirements, evaluation of systems to be acquired, fire and explosive safety, and mathematical and statistical analysis of operational problems.

The DRDO has been working on the Integrated Guided Missile Development program. The program consists of five missile systems: Prithvi, Akash, Trishul, Nag, and Agni. The Prithvi SS-150 and Agni missile systems are believed to have the capability to carry chemical warheads.

DRDO laboratories are suspected of developing and maintaining India's chemical weapons. Stockpiles of these weapons are believed to be stored at DRDO facilities in Gwalior and Nashik. The DRDO serves as a training center for doctors, forensic scientists, and police personnel who will be the first responders in a chemical or biological attack.

The DRDO has developed suits that include a facelet, a haversack, gloves, overboots, respirators, leak tester, integrated hood mask, and canister neelkantha 'A' to protect personnel from a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack. In addition, DRDO has developed chemical detection systems such as a residual vapor detection kit, a three-color detector paper, a water poison detection kit, a portable gas chromatograph, and a nerve agent detector.

On 19 June 2002, the Indian Press Information Bureau reported that the DRDO laboratories in Gwalior and Ahmednagar had developed nuclear, biological, and chemical decontamination systems. On 21 June 2002, the Indian Press Information Bureau again reported that the DRDO laboratory in Gwalior had developed two first-aid kits to help treat nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare injuries.

DRDO laboratories have developed numerous other pieces of equipment for the Armed Services. Such items include flight simulators for aircraft, 68mm reusable rocket pod, brake parachute for fighter aircrafts, mini remote piloted vehicles, light field guns, a new family of light weight small arms systems, and charge line mine clearing vehicles. In addition, it has developed such weapons as cluster weapon systems for fighter aircraft, naval mines, a new generation of bombs for high-speed aircraft and low-level bombing, a mountain gun, a 130mm SP gun, a low-level tracking radar (Indra I and II) for the Army and the Air Force, battlefield surveillance and secondary surveillance radar, a bridge-layer-tank, military bridging systems capable of withstanding a tank load, advanced ship sonar systems, advanced sonobuoys, naval decoys, naval simulators, torpedo launchers, advanced materials and composites for military use, and a parallel processing computer for aerodynamic computations.

Source: Defence Research and Development Organisation,

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