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DRDO Advancing Deep Tech for India’s Defence

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In a significant stride towards naval technology advancement, the Department of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) unveiled the Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE) at the Underwater Acoustic Research Facility in Kulamavu, Idukki, Kerala.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

The Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory of DRDO conceptualised and established SPACE to serve as a premier testing and evaluation hub for sonar systems destined for the Indian Navy. These systems will be integrated into various naval platforms, including ships, submarines, and helicopters, enhancing the Navy’s operational efficiency and effectiveness.

SPACE features two distinct assemblages: a surface-floating platform and a submersible platform capable of descending to depths of up to 100 meters using winch systems. This innovative design allows for seamless operations, with the submersible platform easily winched up and docked with the floating platform upon completion.

The design and construction of the platform adhere to all statutory requirements set by the Indian Register of Shipping and other vessel classifying authorities, ensuring compliance with inspection and registration criteria as per the Kerala Inland Vessel Rules. This makes SPACE a one-of-a-kind facility globally, positioning India at the forefront of maritime technology innovation and defence preparedness.

Primarily dedicated to the evaluation of complete sonar systems, SPACE facilitates quick deployment and recovery of scientific packages such as sensors and transducers. Additionally, it serves as a versatile platform for surveying, sampling, and collecting data on air, surface, mid-water, and reservoir floor parameters using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation.

Moreover, SPACE houses modern, well-equipped scientific laboratories for data processing and sample analyses, ushering in a new era of Anti-Submarine Warfare research capabilities. This facility not only signifies India’s commitment to bolstering its maritime defence capabilities but also highlights DRDO’s pivotal role in driving technological innovation for national security.

India’s strategic thrust towards bolstering its defence capabilities through deep and digital technology is highlighted in the record allocation of over US$82 billion to the Ministry of Defence in the Interim Union Budget 2024-25. This represents a significant uptick of 4.72% from the previous fiscal year, reflecting the government’s steadfast commitment to fortifying the nation’s security infrastructure.

With a substantial portion of this budget – approximately US$23 billion – earmarked for capital acquisition, constituting 27.67% of the total defence budget, India underscores its resolve to modernise its armed forces and enhance operational readiness through strategic investments.

Moreover, the budgetary allocation of around US$12 billion for revenue expenditure, excluding salary expenses, underscores India’s focus on sustaining and augmenting its defence capabilities.

The Interim Budget articulates the government’s vision for a self-reliant ‘Viksit Bharat’, aligning with Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, amidst evolving geopolitical dynamics. This increased defence budget aims not only to bolster India’s strategic autonomy but also to foster innovation and technology adoption in the defence sector, positioning the nation as a formidable force on the global stage.

Recently, DRDO and the Indian Army have conducted successful trials of the indigenous Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) Weapon System. Developed using cutting-edge technology by DRDO, the system underwent field evaluations in various flight configurations, affirming its superior capabilities.

In another significant demonstration of technological prowess, the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) collaborated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to successfully conduct a flight test of the New Generation Ballistic Missile Agni-Prime off the coast of Odisha.

At the head of these strategic initiatives, DRDO harnesses technology and advanced solutions to advance its capabilities, exemplifying its commitment to innovation in defence research and development. By integrating state-of-the-art digital technologies, DRDO continuously enhances its systems, ensuring they remain at the forefront of modern defence capacity.


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