Every growing organisation has a research and development unit in order to stay in touch with new technologies that would help increase the efficiency of their enterprise. Research and development are crucial as it helps explore various possibilities and raise the effectiveness of previously established methodologies. In terms of catering to the necessities of the Indian Armed Services, research and development help remain in touch with the technological advancements in combat accomplished by other countries. Thereby, post-independence it was deemed necessary by the Ministry of Defence that India must have a research and development unit for its defence. This led to the emergence of the ‘Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’ in the year 1958. DRDO, as the name suggests, works on equipping the defence services of India with the latest machinery, weapons and other necessary equipment. Another goal that is actively pursued by the organisation is that of self-reliance. The DRDO holds a futuristic and self-sufficient perspective pertaining to India’s future in military technology. 


The DRDO grew from an organisation with merely ten research laboratories to now over fifty active laboratories all across the country. The first of which is the DRDO in Chandipur, Odisha. This particular DRDO is the oldest establishment of the organisation that can be traced back to the year 1895. It was built under the British Raj by Capt. RH Mahon, Lt. Col. R Wace and Maj. Gen. A Walker. It remained a significant establishment that fulfilled the purpose of allowing for firing activities and other equipment testing to be held within its boundaries. DRDO Chandipur was then taken under the umbrella of all the other officially instituted DRDOs of the country in the year 1958. Originally, when it was founded in the year 1895 by the Britishers, this DRDO was known as the ‘Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE)’. Post being undertaken officially under a free India, DRDO Chandipur diversified its purpose and has also allowed for other foreign countries with whom India has cordial relations, to use the establishment for their own firing and testing requirements. The DRDO in Chandipur is not only the oldest but has also proven to be the most ideal test range for the defence services. It is located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, which allows for its research and development team to safely study the trajectories of the shots made by the weapons and machinery under observation. Since the range, power and trajectories of the new equipment can be examined by making the shots move towards the sea, rather than towards the land, it helps avoid damage to humans.


In the year 2016, DRDO Chandipur received the ‘Silicon Trophy’ for being the best technological laboratory of all the DRDOs in the nation. Further, it also received the ‘Agni Award for Excellence in Self Reliance’ in the year 2017. Its trajectory has indeed been commendable, as it developed from an arid piece of land to a full-fledged testing range capable of supporting the needs of Indian Defence Services. Recently, in the year 2020, they managed to successfully launch an anti-tank guided missile named ‘Dhruvastra’. This launch was important and was marked as a great success for the country, as Dhruvastra is one of the most advanced anti-tank missiles in existence all across the world. It was tested with ultimate precision on the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at DRDO Chandipur. This piece of indigenously developed weaponry is expected to be revolutionary in times of war and upsurge and thereby places India in a powerful position.


Akash Surface to Air Missile System successfully flight tested at ITR, Chandipur

Furthermore, DRDO Chandipur has also been the base location to carry out the test and subsequently the successful launch for the new ‘Agni-Prime’ nuclear-capable missile. Having an establishment of DRDO at Chandipur has been of prime importance in terms of its geographical location and its contribution to the defence services. The Indian Navy has also benefited from their recent launch of a short-range Surface-to-Air Missile. Additionally, the  Indian Air Force also benefited from the successful launch of the BrahMos missile. The contributions made by DRDO Chandipur are endless as they continue to introduce new indigenously developed technologies. It is thereby essential that investments be made in order to ensure that all of the DRDO establishments in the country continue to provide quality technologies and new machinery for strengthening the Indian Armed Services. Given the importance of and the emphasis being placed on an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the pressure on DRDOs has significantly increased. Better technology and new military equipment can be imported from other countries, however, most of the policies introduced by the government lately have been regarding the promotion of indigenous production of battle equipment. It is to be noted that DRDO Chandipur has been a prime location for launching such projects, and has thereby proven its significance time and again.

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