IDN TAKE: DRDO: Aeronautical Systems Introduction Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) works under Department of Defence Research and Development of Ministry of Defence. DRDO dedicatedly working towards enhancing self-reliance in Defence Systems and undertakes design & development leading to production of world class weapon systems and equipment in accordance with the expressed needs and the qualitative requirements laid down by the three services. DRDO is working in various areas of military technology which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation and life sciences. DRDO while striving to meet the Cutting edge weapons technology requirements provides ample spinoff benefits to the society at large thereby contributing to the nation building. Aeronautical Systems Aeronautical systems are the most technology-intensive systems in the Defence portfolio. DRDO has been involved in the development of aero l systems, specifically manned and unmanned aircraft, aero engines, lighter-than-air systems, air-borne surveillance and electronic warfare. R&D in such areas is carried out by a cluster of five laboratories namely: •Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bengaluru •Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru •Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra •Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru •Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru •Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Bengaluru (Addition design validation and certification of Aeronautical Stores) Aeronautical Development Agency Aeronautical Development Agency, Bengaluru, is an autonomous body under Department of Defence R&D. ADA is the nodal agency involved in the design and development of fighter aircraft to reduce the burden of importing fighter planes. The LCA project is funded entirely by DRDO. ADA has also established a number of other major facilities like High Power Computing System Facility, Cockpit Environment Control Facility, Lightning Test Facility, Aircraft System Maintenance Simulator (ASMS), Iron Bird,etc., required for simulation and evaluation of LCA. Core Competencies Notable Achievements LCA Naval Prototype (NP1) during testing at the Shore Based Ski-jump Test Facility (SBTF) LCA Tejas is India’s first indigenous multi-role fighter aircraft designed and developed to meet the requirements of Indian Air Force. The crowning achievement was the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC-2) on 20 December 2013 which marked a major milestone in DRDO history. The last of the Limited Series Production (LSP) series LSP 8 had its maiden flight on 31 March 2013. A total of 2450 flight tests have been completed on LCA by December 2013, out of which 2250 flights have been completed in Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Phase 2. Envelope expansion and weapon release tests have been successfully carried out. Tejas participated in the Iron Fist-2013 at Pokhran, comprehensively demonstrating swing role capability, i.e., Laser- Guided Bomb (LGB) firing followed by R73E missile firing in the same mission. Three Tejas aircraft participated in ‘Aero India 2013’ with commendable success. The flagship aircraft program of the Indian Navy has resumed testing of LCA Naval Prototype(NP1) since October 2013. LCA NP2 is under system integration. The Shore Based Ski-jump Test Facility (SBTF) meant for testing of LCA Navy is completion. The first take-off trials of MiG-29K have been carried out and arresting gear system is under equipping at SBTF. Aeronautical Development Establishment Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bengaluru, is involved in the design and development of key aeronautical systems such as UAVs, flight simulators, combat aircraft systems,especially the flight control systems and the aircraft simulators. The establishment has developed many systems in the past, e.g., hovercraft, flight simulators and aerial targets. Core Competencies •Design and development of UAVs •System design •Configuration management and evaluation •Structural design and evaluation •Avionics design and evaluation •Telemetry design and evaluation •Airborne sensor stabilisation •Payloads design and evaluation •Aerial image exploitation •Flight testing and evaluation •Design and development of fly-by- wire flight control systems, cockpit display •Pilot training simulators and simulations to support aircraft design Notable Achievements Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV Rustom-II Rustom-II is being designed to operate at 30,000 ft altitude with an endurance of 24 h carrying Electronic Warfare, Electro-Optic and Synthetic Aperture Radar (EO & SAR) payloads. It can carry a variety of other payloads weighing up to 350 kg. Ground Control Station (GCS) and other sub-systems are also being developed. Rustom-II is a platform designed to perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance missions for Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. Its mission requirements are to provide continuous wide area coverage and yet be able to identify small targets. The first airframe is under system integration. Engine integration has been completed and the ground runs were held in November 2013. Rustom Flight Control Computer (RFCC) software has been coded and landing gear is being integrated. Advanced Pilotless Target Aircraft, Lakshya-II Lakshya-II is the advanced version of DRDO’s Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA). It was designed to dive-down from an altitude of around 800 m to just 12 m and maintain required altitude for the specified time before demonstrating auto climb-out. Features of Lakshya-II are comparable to similar systems of other countries. Services projected a requirement of more than 25 Lakshya-II. M/s L&T Ltd has taken ToT on non-exclusive basis for Lakshya-II. Order worth ₹ 500 Cr to support all three Services for spares, expendables, obsolescence is also being executed. Nirbhay Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile India’s first sub-sonic cruise missile is being developed with an expected range of 1000 km. Maiden flight of Nirbhay cruise vehicle was carried out on 12 March 2013. The duration of the flight was about 15 min in which all the primary objectives for the maiden flight were demonstrated. These included a robust pre-launch check out; an excellent thrust vector controlled launch, an excellent booster separation and wing deployment, engine start and thereafter flight with way point navigation.