New Delhi: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sets the target of more indigenousness in the defence ecosphere for advanced and futuristic technologies to make India 'self-reliant' in the defence sector. Addressing 64th Foundation Day of the state-owned premier agency of defence research and development on Monday here, the chairperson and secretary DDR&D G Sateesh Reddy stated that scientists need to accelerate the development of state-of-the-art systems and technologies for realising the goals of 'Make in India and Make for the World' set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reddy further emphasised on the significant role being played by DRDO in promoting the defence ecosphere within-country comprising of industries, academic institutes and allied R&D organisations to work together on advanced and futuristic technologies to make India self-reliant in the defence sector.

DRDO celebrates its Foundation Day on January 1. While addressing the DRDO fraternity here, 2022, the chairperson also added that DRDO is working on multiple cutting-edge military technology areas, which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation, cyber, hypersonic technologies, quantum computing and communication, artificial intelligence, life sciences and other technologies for defence.

Also brought out that 175 transfers of technology (ToT) licences were signed during 2021 and the production value of DRDO developed systems till today is over Rs 3 Lakh crore. Further, DRDO is ensuring the participation of industry as Development cum Production Partners (DcPP) and Production Agencies (PA) in the projects. DRDO test facilities have been opened up for industries and guidelines for GOCO (Government-Owned and Company Operated) have been promulgated. Reddy brought out that in 2021, DRDO achieved many milestones such as the maiden flight of Akash-New Generation Surface To Air Missile (NG-SAM), new generation surface-to-surface missile Pralay, indigenous airframes for BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Vertical Launch Short Range SAM, Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) missile, supersonic missile assisted release of torpedo and many other systems. Its technology prowess is evident through multiple export opportunities emerging for systems like Akash Missile System, BrahMos, Weapon Locating Radar, Torpedoes, Sonars, etc.

The societal contribution of DRDO technologies during the second wave of COVID was also highlighted that nine hundred and thirty-one medical oxygen plants were installed at 869 sites across the country. Thirteen Covid hospitals with more than 7,400 beds were set up. All these were set up across the country with various central government departments & state government participation with DRDO. Anti-Covid drug in the form of therapeutic application of 2-deoxy-D-glucone (2DG) has been a crucial breakthrough during the pandemic.

Moreover, the efforts being made by DRDO to integrate youth with Defence R&D towards aligning young talent pool by promoting research aptitude in young students in niche complex defence technology was also highlighted. He said that this goal was achieved by Launching Dare to Dream contest, Regular MTech Programme in Defence Technologies in about 40 Universities through AICTE, introducing elective subjects in Defence Technologies for B.Tech courses, DRDO-MoE collaborative programme for PhD students and MoU with universities to focus on joint research activities, faculty and student exchange programme etc. DRDO through its TDF scheme has assigned 40 projects to nascent industries and MSME. Many more projects are in pipeline.

Four internal automation portals and two documents along with a monograph on Systems Engineering for self-reliance to mark the DRDO Day event were launched. Entire DRDO fraternity from across the country participated online through the internal network in DRDO Day celebrations.

DRDO was formed in 1958 from the amalgamation of the then already functioning Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO). DRDO was then a small organisation with 10 establishments or laboratories. Over the years, it has grown multi-directionally in terms of the variety of subject disciplines, number of laboratories, achievements and stature.