India has successfully developed two crucial defence capabilities which signals its entry into an exclusive club of nations with such indigenous technology. The first achievement is the development of an indigenous autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) by state-run DRDO which will aid in maritime security and the other is an RF (radio frequency) seeker which was successfully flight-tested in anti-tank Nag missile by the Indian Army in Rajasthan. The latter was also developed by DRDO lab called Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and is a milestone in seeker technology for missiles.
With the development of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), DRDO has enabled India to be at par with nations like US and Japan with such indigenous technology. The testing of this remotely operated vehicle has been done by DRDO and the project has achieved objectives. The AUV project involves the Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad, as the concurrent engineering partner. The cost of the AUV is roughly $ 8.4 million and it will augment underwater surveillance capabilities of the Indian Navy.
The aim of the AUV is to aid the Indian Navy in surveying waters and help in the deterrence of hostile ships or submarines. The AUV is very small in size and operates around a mother ship from where it is launched, controlled and recovered. The AUV is a unique, one-of-a-kind of vehicle being developed and produced by ECIL. It will also facilitate carrying of payloads if the missions require it to, added ECIL. DRDO has done extensive work in terms of harnessing various aspects of hydro-dynamics as well as the integration of control and guidance in the AUV. The technology is aimed to be transferred to industry through mission mode projects based on specific application and requirements.
The other significant milestone by India is the development of an indigenous seeker technology. DRDO has successfully flight-tested an RF (radio frequency) seeker in the anti-tank Nag missile of the Indian Army. This is the first time that a millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker with all-weather capability was tried for a 2,000 metre range in a successful mission. Earlier, the DRDO had only developed the Imaging Infra-red (IIR) seeker but the current breakthrough will be the solution for applications in surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles and air-to-surface missiles.
Once again, the mmW seeker will put India in an exclusive club of nations possessing such technology. The mmW seeker has been designed and developed by scientists at Research Centre Imarat (RCI), one of the key laboratories of the DRDO's missile complex. The seeker's capability to track the target in a ‘Lock-on-Before-Launch' method, right from the missile's firing and throughout the trajectory, was successfully demonstrated. In the future, the seeker would be used in a system in ‘Lock-on-After-Launch' mode for an extended range. The development of this seeker will also help the incorporation of dual-mode seeker technology.