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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

The year 2023 has proven to be a remarkable period for India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), showcasing several breakthroughs and achievements. idrw.org has compiled a list of the top 5 milestones that highlight DRDO’s contributions to India’s defense capabilities.

From the successful high-altitude chamber tests of the Kaveri derivative engine to the autonomous landing of a high-speed flying-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), DRDO’s accomplishments underscore its commitment to advancing India’s technological prowess in the defense sector.

Kaveri Derivative Engine’s High-Altitude Chamber Tests: The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), an agency under DRDO, completed high-altitude chamber tests of the indigenously built Kaveri derivative engine. This achievement has paved the way for the development of a limited production of the Dry Kaveri engine. Godrej, a private sector company, will be involved in manufacturing the Dry Kaveri engine, marking a significant step towards self-reliance in defense technology. GTRE’s receipt of funding for manufacturing five new Kaveri derivative prototype engines sets the stage for Phase II, involving testing of the newly developed Dry Kaveri engine.

Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Test: In 2023, India achieved a significant milestone with the successful test of its first submarine-launched cruise missile, boasting an impressive range of 402 km. The clandestine nature of the missile test, initially shrouded in secrecy, was later revealed by DRDO. This SLCM, designed to be launched from a submarine torpedo tube, enhances the Indian Navy’s firepower significantly. Its compatibility with existing submarine fleets signals a quick adoption, contributing to India’s naval strength.

Transfer of Fuel-Cell AIP System Technology: DRDO transferred the technology of its Fuel-Cell Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system to Larsen & Toubro (L&T), a private sector company. The AIP system is set to be incorporated into the Kalvari Class submarines as part of their upgrade plans from 2025 onwards. Following successful demonstrations, the AIP system has been cleared for production, placing India among a select group of nations with indigenous AIP capabilities.

Akash Missile System Advancements: DRDO’s Akash missile system achieved a significant milestone by demonstrating the capability to engage four aerial targets simultaneously at a range of 25 kilometers. India became the first country to achieve this capability using a single firing unit. The Akash missile, with its short-range surface-to-air capabilities, plays a crucial role in protecting vulnerable areas and points from air attacks.

High-Speed Flying-Wing UAV’s Autonomous Landing: DRDO conducted a successful flight trial of an indigenous high-speed flying-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka. The autonomous landing of this UAV, without the need for ground radars, infrastructure, or a pilot, showcased a unique capability. The UAV’s ability to take off and land from any runway with surveyed coordinates adds versatility to its applications.

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