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DRDO celebrates 66th Foundation Day

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DRDO is celebrating the 66th  Foundation Day of its establishment. Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat DRDO paid floral tributes to the Missile Man of India and former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Floral tributes were also paid to
Dr VS Arunachalam, Former DRDO Chief, who passed away in August 2023.

Addressing DRDO fraternity, Chairman DRDO extended warm wishes to DRDO employees and their families. He stated that an eventful year has passed and a new one is about to begin and asked scientists to innovate and create for the Nation.

Chairman DRDO highlighted the achievements of DRDO and said that during the year, several systems developed by DRDO have been delivered, inducted or handed over to the users.

He expressed happiness that the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) has also been accorded this year for induction of several DRDO developed systems worth more than 1 lakh 42 thousand crores.
This is the highest ever accorded to DRDO developed systems in any year. This constitutes a significant component of Aatmanirbharta in Defence Production.

He stated that several systems have also either completed or are in the final stages of User evaluation and many other systems are undergoing Developmental trials. He set the target for DRDO to ensure that the systems which are under User trials and under final stages of developmental trials, get accepted by the User in 2024, so that they are ready for induction. He said that DRDO laboratories should focus on development of complex, first of its kind systems and development of advanced and critical technologies, which will enable the country to become AtmaNirbhar and a leader in Defence Technology.

Chairman DRDO highlighted some other success stories in his speech. He stated that it was a matter of great pride for all of us when Hon’ble Prime Minister flew in LCA Trainer on Nov 25, 2023.
He mentioned that on the National Technology Day on 11 May 2023, Hon’ble Prime Minister dedicated the Rare Earth Permanent Magnet (REPM) plant at IREL Vizag to the Nation.

This plant was set-up using DRDO Technology. He said that indigenously Designed and Developed Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) ‘Varunastra’ was successfully test fired with a live warhead against an undersea target on 05th  Jun 2023 by the Indian Navy.

This was the first of its kind demonstration in the country or may be even in the world. He also mentioned about firing of Astra Mk1 air to air missile from Tejas for the first time, Landing of LCA Navy on Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant II, Deployment of DRDO’s D4 system at Rashtrapati Bhawan, G-20 Summit, Republic Day Parade and Beating Retreat Ceremony. He further stated that DRDO’s oceanographic research vessel ‘INS Sagardhwani’ embarked on Sagar Maitri Mission-4 to Oman to establish long-term scientific partnerships with Indian Ocean Rim countries in ‘Ocean Research & Development’.
He also highlighted about the Crew Escape System (CES) for Gaganyaan Programme, which was tested successfully.

He pointed out that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has appreciated DRDO in their report submitted to Parliament last week and has recommended for increasing the budget of Defence R&D.

He also said that DRDO filed more than 141 patents this year and 212 patents were granted and hoped that this number increase significantly in the years to come. He further stated that five Young Scientists Labs, that was started by DRDO in 2019, have now started to make an impact and is going to be our torch bearers in the emerging disruptive technologies. He mentioned that 15 DRDO Industry Academia Centres of Excellence (DIA-CoEs) have already been sanctioned several projects and will enable DRDO laboratories to seamlessly transition some futuristic technologies from low TRLs to high TRLs.

Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO in his address brought out that towards enabling industry, DRDO has been partnering with them for the realization of its systems. DRDO test facilities have been opened to the industries for utilisation. He pointed out that so far 1650 ToT’s on DRDO developed systems have been handed over to the Indian Industries out of which 109 Licensing Agreements for Transfer of Technology (LAToTs) were signed with Indian Industries during 2023 for DRDO products.

In order to make the Technology Development Fund (TDF) and allied schemes more effective, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had constituted a committee headed by Dr Kakodkar, former Secretary DAE and Dr Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog to suggets ways to fund cutting edge research like what DARPA does in USA. The committee has submitted its report and once Hon’ble RM gives his approval we will implement this scheme in 2024.

He concluded his adddress by expecting that everyone has to focus on achieving higher user satisfaction and incorporating artificial intelligence/machine learning in all our systems and technologies. He further said that each laboratory should appoint an AI/ML champion to proactively pursue the inclusion of AI/ML in all our systems and technologies.

He also launched the Quantity-Distance Software developed by HEMRL Pune to automate the siting of explosives and related buildings. The software is an essential tool for all MoD establishments engaged in creating explosive related infrastructure in optimum time and with greater precision.

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