DRDO Should Emerge as a World Leader in Exporting Weapon Systems: MoS Defence; Flags Off Indigenous Missile Astra


New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt flagged off the indigenously developed and manufactured Astra missiles for supply to the IAF at the Kanchanbagh unit, in the presence of DRDO DG-missiles & strategic systems U Raja Babu and other senior officials.

Astra is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile indigenously developed by DRDO and manufactured by BDL for the Indian Air Force. The Astra weapon system is the best in its class weapon systems in the world in the category of air-to-air missiles with a range of 100-plus km. The flag-off ceremony marks a significant achievement for BDL, positioning it among a select few companies globally with capability to manufacture state-of-the-art air-to-air missiles.

India has become the first country to demonstrate the capability of engaging four aerial targets simultaneously at 25 km ranges by command guidance using a single firing unit with the recent firing of the ‘Akash’ missile by the Indian Air Force (IAF) earlier this week on January 12, claimed Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) chairman and managing director, Commodore A Madhavarao.

The Akash missiles test-fired by the DRDO have been manufactured by BDL at its Kanchanbagh facility including the state-of-the-art radio frequency seeker. At BDL, the focus is always on ‘Make in India’ with maximum indigenous content, he asserted.

speaking at the event, Commodore Madhavarao said BDL receives several leads from friendly-foreign countries for the Astra weapon system. The manufacturing capability has also been augmented to meet both domestic and international demands of Astra missiles simultaneously.

Earlier, the Minister congratulated BDL for their efforts to realise the production of the indigenously developed missile, in line with the Centre’s Atmanirbhar policy. He also appreciated the contribution being made by BDL in enhancing defence exports of the country. He also visited various manufacturing facilities and was apprised of the manufacturing capabilities of BDL by the CMD.

BDL directors N. Srinivasulu (finance), P.V. Rajaram (production), chief vigilance officer Upender Vennam and other top officials participated in this event, said a press release.

The Union Minister had also visited DRDO’s Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), and reviewed the ongoing missile technologies and related Programmes. Raja Babu briefed him about various technological developments. Other lab directors of DRDL, ASL and RCI explained critical systems and the technologies developed.

The Minister witnessed the display of the missile systems and the enabling critical technologies indigenously developed by the DRDO establishments. He congratulated scientists for the recent successful missions including Agni-prime, Akash, Akash-NG, VSHORADS, Pralay, etc.

“The knowledge and infrastructure base with the DRDO needs to be tapped by the MSMEs and private industries, which in turn will lead to establishment of a self-reliant defence industrial ecosystem in our country,” said  Bhatt.

DRDO should emerge as a world leader in exporting weapon systems to the other nations, he said and emphasised that defence is no longer limited to land, sea or the skies but encompasses space, cyber, economic and social space too.