DRDO's completed and ongoing programs list makes for really interesting reading. Few if any firms have such a structure where literally all their products are to be made to a firm requirement and then forced through extensive trials till they meet requirements and are inducted, making it a firm base for developing new products. With decent funding and even more accountability and integrated program management from the services, the now increasing participation from the private sector, the basis for their continued success is well set up.
Projects taken up in 12th Plan, 2012-17 wrote:The key projects which have been taken up in the 12th FYP are:
New generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM)
Solid fuel ducted ramjet (SFDR) technology
Quick reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM)
Man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM)
Smart anti-airfield weapon (SAAW)
Stand-off anti-tank guided missile (SANT)
Lquid fuel ramjet engine
Autonomous rotary unmanned aerial vehicle ‘RUAV’-10 kg
Unmanned small airship system (USAS)
Small turbo fan engine (STFE)
IFF Mk 12th(A) system variants
Advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS)
500 kg preformed fragmentation bomb
1500 HP engine (National Mission)
Landing gear system for 2-Ton class UAV
BMCS for 155 mm artillery gun
Advanced Daksh platform
Wheeled armour platform (WHAP),
ATGM for MBT Arjun Mk-II
Corner shot weapon system for pistol and UBGL
Electric gun and turret drive system (ELEGANT),
AIP system on P-75 submarines
Sonars (ALTAS, Abhay, HUMSA UG, Tushar),
supersonic missile assisted release of torpedo (SMART),
Internal RWJ system for Jaguar DARIN III upgrade aircraft,
S-band hub and ground SATCOM terminals
EW System ‘Samudrika’
Ground based mobile ELINT station ‘Himraj’
National open air range (NOAR)
Ground based electronic counter measures against GNSS receivers‘GYPSY’
AESA radar ‘Uttam’ for LCA
Air defence fire control radar ‘Atulya'
Air defence tactical control radar
New operating system,
S-band digital multimedia broadcast terminal for satellite communication
MEMS packaging facility
Multi-agent robotics system (MARS)
Microwave chaff for Defence applications.
Budgetary Provisions 2.3
Projected Amount, Budget Estimates (BE), Revised Estimates (RE) and actual allocations in respect of DRDO for the last five years along with the Projections and Budget Estimate allocation for the year 2018-2019 are given in the following table:
Approval of RE 2017-18 & BE 2018-19 is still awaited.
On being asked about whether the budget provided is sufficient for the plans as
envisaged by DRDO , the Ministry in written reply submitted as under:- b]'The budget of DRDO has always been around 5-6% of the Defence Budget. Keeping aside pay and allowances and other non-salary revenue expenditure, each of which essentially keeps growing every year, the amount left for R&D activities is very less (~Rs. 9000 Crore). Of this, ~Rs. 5,000 Crore is for Strategic Schemes which is unavoidable expense because DRDO has the responsibility of design, development, operation and maintenance of these projects. Another ~Rs. 1,000
Crore is for our top priority CCS programs & ~Rs. 1,300 Crore is for essential non salary revenue expenditure, leaving only ~Rs. 1,400 Crore for S&T, TD and other MM projects. Since MM has higher priority, the quantum of funds left for TD/S&T is less than ~Rs. 500 Crore. This slab (TD/S&T) actually constitutes DRDO’s efforts in blue sky research and futuristic technology which ideally is the bed-rock for any R&D
organization. DRDO needs additional funds to take up projects in futuristic areas, significant/high-cost projects. Here quantum of funds substantially needs to be increased to about Rs. 3,000 Crore. CCS projects will require another Rs. 2,000 Crore as a number of new projects are on the anvil. Hence an additional Rs. 5,000 Crore is critically required for sustained R&D efforts/output'. [/b]
During the oral evidence, on the issue of additional budget, Secretary, Defence R&D submitted as under:-
'‘The Department is thankful to you for giving this enhanced Budget. In the consecutive two years in your Report you have requested for enhanced Budget. We could get a 20 per cent jump in our Budget with respect to last year. The increase in Budget is around Rs.2000 Crore in terms of capital and about Rs.200 Crore in the revenue. Though there is an increase, we have a small request in case it could be incded in the Report.
We have LCA Programme which is coming under grants-in-aid which requires funding. As of now, we have got the orders for about 123 aircraft and also Air Force is committed to take another 201 aircraft which means, Mark-II to be designed and developed, we are in the half way through. There are some expenditures involved. We request another Rs.800 Crore under grants-in-aid. If it could be provided we will be happy.
Likewise, we are also having some strategic programme for which we need at least Rs.500 Crore civil capital. Last but not the least, another Rs.500 Crore, if it is possible, is our requirement in the stores revenue. In total about Rs.1,800Crore we will be requesting.
Before I end, I once again thank you for the continued support because of which we got the enhanced amount. We had requested about Rs.4000 Crore and we could get at least Rs.2,500Crore. That is really good. Except this small change, in case it happens, we will be very comfortable”.
Further, Defence Secretary stated in this regard as given below:"
("Sir, with respect to the mention of Rupees One Lakh crore, the more the output generation, the better will be revenue generation, a part of which will be alloted to Defence, and further to Defence Research, thereby, making it a long, time-consuming process. Hence, the said fund of Rs. One Lakh crore is the not alloted instantly.)
In comparison to Defence funding in countries such as the US, Russia, and China, our Defence R&D spending is very less. As per published data, India funding 6% on Defence R&D of the Defence Budget whilst, USA and China are spending approximately 12% and 20%, respectively on Defence R&D as compared to their Defence Budget. Vibrant economy is possible only when both saving and spending go hand in hand. Spending the tax payers money wisely is as important as saving if not more for the stimulation of growth in Defence R&D capability.
On being asked about the new projects being formulated,the Ministry in its written replies submitted as under:
-‘“Major new projects being formulated and planned to be taken up by the technology groups in next few months are:
Ghatak Aircraft Programme, Multi Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA)
Programme, Aerostat Platform System for Surveillance Large Size (Prahari), Rotary
UAV for Snow Cover Evaluation, High Efficiency High Temperature Turbine, Land
Attack Cruise Missile.
Armament &Combat Engineering (ACE):
Universal Armoured Recovery & Repair Vehicle (UARRV), 600 HP Engine, Landing Gear for 3T class Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle, Surveillance using Multilayer Intelligent Tracking Response Analysis ‘SUMITRA’, Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier for UN Mission-UN APC 8x8,Swarm Robotics, Extended Range Anti-submarine Rocket ER-ASR, TerraINT as Force Multiplier for Military Operational Planning (DHARASTRA), Mechanical Mine Layer-AT, Integrated Console for Network Surveillance.
Electronics & Communication Systems (ECS):
Internal RWR & Self Protection Jammer Pod for LCA Mk1A, Digital Active Phased Array Radar (DAPA Radar), L-Band Long Range (900 km) Phased Array Radar, Digital Active Phased Array, Data-links for Airborne Platforms, Advanced SATCOM Technologies & Systems, Next Generation Integrated EW System (ROSHINI), Estimator & Compensator Modules for Laser Weapon Systems (EsCom).
Bio Agent Detector System, Next Generation Protective Ensemble (NGPE), Next Generation CBN Defence Technologies.
Micro Electronic Devices & Computational System (MED &CoS):
Next Generation Microwave GTechnologies (NEXGEM), Multi Petaflop Computing System, GaN MMIC for applications up to X-band.
Missile and Strategic System (MSS):
Air to Surface Missile DHRUVASTRA for IAF,
Astra Mk-II, Enabling Technologies for Explosive driven High Power Microwave System (EDHPMS).
Naval System and Materials (NS&M):
High Endurance Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HEAUV), Technology Development for SiCFiber (TDSiCF), Multi Influence Ground Mine, Chaff Payload for Naval Applications (CHAFF-N)”.
2.9 The Ministry was asked to furnish the details of the projection for Twelfth Plan in
respect of Research and Development, the Ministry supplied the following information:
The projections for Twelfth Plan vs. allocation are presented in the Table below:
(Rs. in Crore)
Budget allocated to R&D
%age of Defence Expenditure
The Ministry was asked to furnish the reasons for decline, if any , in the allocation made on Research and Development to the total Defence Budget during the Twelfth Plan period and projects which have suffered due to reduced allocation, if any, the Ministry
supplied the following information:
“The budget of DRDO over the 12th FYP period has always been around 6% of the Defence Budget. Keeping aside pay and allowances and other non-salary revenue expenditure, each of which essentially keeps growing every year, the amount left for R&D activities during the last 3 years has been progressively decreasing (Rs. 9,742.94 Crore; 9,563.26 Crore and Rs. 8,830.08 Crore respectively). Of Rs. 8,830.08 Crore (allocated in2015-16); Rs. 5,200 Crore is for Strategic Schemes which is unavoidable expense because DRDO has the responsibility of design,
development, operation and maintenance of these projects. Another Rs. 930 Crore is for our top priority CCS programs &Rs. 1,314 Crore is for essential non salary revenue expenditure, leaving only Rs. 1,386.08 Crore for S&T, TD and other MM projects.
Since MM has higher priority, the quantum of funds left for TD/S&T is less than Rs. 500 Cr. This slab (TD/S&T) actually constitutes DRDO’s efforts in blue sky research and futuristic technology which ideally is the bed-rock for any R&D organization.
DRDO needs additional funds to take up projects in futuristic areas, significant/high-cost projects. Here quantum of funds substantially needs to be increased to about Rs 3,000 Crore. Even CCS projects will require another Rs. 2,000 Crore as a number of new projects are on the anvil. Hence an additional Rs. 5,000 Crore is critically required for sustained R&D efforts/output.
The above was also presented to Standing Committee of Parliament during Apr 2016.
Effect of reduced funding vis-à-vis projections will be reflected in delay in completion of project activities which will subsequently result in a time overrun in projects”.
On being asked about the number of projects initiated by Defence Research and Development Organisation, date of initiation and the s
hare of a project/scientist/technical manpower in normal circumstances, the Ministry in written reply submitted as under:
“As per the available records, 1031 projects (excluding Special Schemes/TS/Build-up & short closed/stage closed/cancelled projects
) have been sanctioned till date at a total cost of Rs. 87,305.08 Crore (including User share). The total no. of projects sanctioned by DRDO in 12
th FYP and XIII FYP (Cost ≥ Rs 2 Crore) including cost are provided below:
No. of Projects
Cost of Projects(Rs in Crore)
12th FYP (2012-2017)
13th FYP (2017-till date)
The plan period also saw the completion of a number of projects viz.
Integrated Aerostat Surveillance System-Medium Size (Nakshatra)
Aerostat Platform 2000 cum (Akashdeep)
Heavy Drop System – 16T
Enhanced Range Rocket ‘Pinaka’ Mk-II
Penetration-cum-Blast (PCB) and Thermo-baric (TB) Ammunition for 120 mm Arjun Tank
Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS)
Air Bursting Grenade (ABG) for Individual Weapon
46m Military Load Class (MLC-70) Modular Bridge Mountain Foot Bridge
Conversion of BMP into Tele-operated & Autonomous Vehicle
Satellite based Surveillance (SBS) and Reconnaissance System
EW Suite for Fighter Aircraft (EWSFA)
Dual Colour Missile Approach Warning System (DCMAWS) for Fighter Aircraft (Su-30 MKI)
Medium Power Radar (MPR) ‘Arudhra’
Electro-Optical Fire Control System for Naval Ships (EON-51)
Electro-Optical Sensors for Airborne Platforms (UAV & Aerostat)
Modern ESM System ‘VARUNA’
S-Band Hub and Ground SATCOM Terminals
NBC Defence Technologies
Life Support System for Services (LSSS)
MEMS Technology (MEMSTECH)
AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors Material and Device Development
Ku Band MPM based Transmitter for Airborne Radar
Technologies for TAC C3I Integration
Missile Launched Precision Guided Munitions (MLPGMs)
Imaging Infra Red (IIR) Seeker for Supersonic/Hypersonic Guided Missiles
ASB Glide Weapon System
Open Range Test Facility for Radar Cross-Section and Antenna Measurements (UHF to W BAND) – ORANGE
Track Extension and Rail Track Rocket Sled (RTRS) Augmentation
Advanced Torpedo Defence System ‘Maareech’
High Speed Heavy Weight Ship Launched Torpedo ‘Varunastra’
Low Frequency Dunking Sonar (LFDS), Seakeeping&Manoeuvering Basin (SMB)
Bullet Proof Jacket
Materials & Technologies for Stealth Applications (STEP) to name a few prominent ones.
Note projects already completed include S-Band Hub and Ground SATCOM, IIR seekers for supersonic/hypersonic missiles, GaN HEMTs, MLPGMS, DCMAWS!
In short, IIR seeker equipped SAM variants or A2G missiles are possible now. And we are on the way to making MMICs with GaN devices. MLPGMs available mean our SSMs & UAVs have more options.