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Why in news?

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) develops five layer N99 masks with two layers of nano mesh.
  • The DRDO has developed a ventilator and is working with the industry to produce 5,000 of them per month to treat COVID-19 patients.


  • The DRDO developed a ventilator along with the Society for Biomedical technology (SBMT), its technology has been transferred to the industry.
  • An industry in Mysuru is producing the secondary version of that ventilator now.
  • The Defence Ministry said in a statement the DRDO laboratories had manufactured 20,000 litres of sanitiser and supplied to various organisations, including 10,000 litres to the Delhi police.
  • The DRDO has also supplied 10,000 masks to Delhi police personnel.
  • It is tying up with some private companies to make personal protection equipment such as body suits and also ventilators.
  • The N99 5-layer Masks are produced at a capacity of 10,000 masks per day by the vendors
  • At present DRDO is ready with four different items ready to be deployed: Hand Sanitizer, Ventilator, N99 Masks, and Body Suits.


  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development.
  • It is headquartered in Delhi, India and has its 50+ labs all across the country.
  • It was formed in 1958.
  • It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation.

Objectives of DRDO

  • Design, develop and lead to production state-of-the-art sensors, weapon systems, platforms and allied equipment for our Defence Services.
  • Provide technological solutions to the Services to optimise combat effectiveness and to promote well-being of the troops.
  • Develop infrastructure and committed quality manpower and build strong indigenous technology base.

Important Projects of DRDO


  • The DRDO is responsible for the ongoing Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Project.
  • The DRDO provided key avionics for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI programme and is also a part of the Indian Air Force’s upgrade programmes alongside HAL.
  • The DRDO has also developed two unmanned aerial vehicles – the Nishant tactical UAV and the Lakshya (Target) Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).
  • Armaments:
    DRDO cooperates with the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board for producing its items.
  • The INSAS weapon system has become the standard battle rifle for the Indian Army and paramilitary units.
  • Pinaka multi barrel rocket launcher system has seen significant success as well.

Missile systems:

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Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

  • The IGMDP was launched by the Indian Government to develop the ability to develop and design a missile locally, and manufacture a range of missile systems for the three defence services.
  • IGMDP was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles.
  • The programme was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organisations.
  • The project started in 1982–83 under the leadership of Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
  • The programme has seen significant success in its two most important constituents – the Agni missiles and the Prithvi missiles, while two other programmes, the Akash SAM and the anti-tank Nag Missile have seen significant orders.

Prithvi Missiles

  • The Prithvi (Earth) missiles are a range of SRBMs (short-range ballistic missile) produced for the Indian Air Force and Army; a variant for the Navy has also been deployed .

Agni Missiles

  • The Agni (Fire) ballistic missiles are a range of MRBMs (Medium-range ballistic missile), IRBMs (Intermediate-range ballistic missile), ICBMs (Intercontinental ballistic missile) meant for long-range deterrence.
  • The Agni-III has range of up to 3,500 km (2,175 mi).
  • The Agni-I and Agni-II have been productionised, although exact numbers remain classified.
  • The Agni-V missile is an Intercontinental ballistic missile meant for long-range deterrence. The Agni-V is the newest version and has the longest range of up to 5000–6000 km. Agni-V would also carry Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle payloads and will have countermeasures against Anti-ballistic missile systems.

Akash Missiles

  • The Akash (Sky or ether) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system consisting of the command guidance.

Nag Missiles

  • The Nag anti-tank missile (Cobra) is a guided missile system intended for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
  • The Army will deploy the Nag on ground-based launchers and from helicopters, whereas the Air Force will rely on helicopter based units.
  • The Nag has an Imaging Infrared (IIR) seeker and has a top and direct attack capability, with a tandem warhead.

BrahMos Missiles

  • Launched as a joint venture between India’s DRDO and the Russian NPO, the BrahMos programme aims at creating a range of missile systems derived from the Yakhont missile system.
  • Named the “BrahMos” after the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers, the project has been highly successful.
  • The BrahMos (designated PJ-10) is a medium-range supersonic ramjet cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • BrahMos is the world’s fastest cruise missile.
  • BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) is a mini version based on the existing BrahMos and it will have same 290 km range and mach 3.5
  • BrahMos-II is a hypersonic cruise missile currently under development and is estimated to have a range of 290 km.
  • Like the BrahMos, the range of BrahMos II has also been limited to 290 km to comply with the MTCR.
  • With a speed of Mach 7, it will have double the speed of the current BrahMos missile, and it will be the fastest hypersonic missile in the world (also refer: Russian Avangrad missile).

Nirbhay Missile

  • Nirbhay (Fearless) is a long range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile powered by solid rocket booster and turbofan or a turbojet engine that can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.

Shaurya Missile

  • The Shaurya (Valor) is a canister-launched hypersonic surface-to-surface tactical missile.

Sagarika Missile

  • The K-15 Sagarika is a nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile belonging to the K Missile family.

Prahaar Missile

  • Prahaar is a solid-fueled surface-to-surface guided short-range tactical ballistic missile.

Astra Missile

  • Astra is an 80 km (50 mi) class, active radar homing air-to-air missile meant for beyond-visual-range missile combat.
April 2024