Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency under the Ministry of Defence. The headquarters of DRDO is in Delhi. It was founded in 1958 when a few technical development establishments merged into the Defense Science Organization to form India's largest research organization. It has an entire web of laboratories that work in refining and developing defence technologies in the fields of aeronautics, naval systems, armaments, electronics, engineering, materials, land combat, missiles, and life sciences.
In 1980, a separate establishment of DRDO was formed that administered the 50 laboratories that fell under it. Without a design and construction responsibility of its own, the Army and the Navy would assign DRDO to design models that corresponded with the ones in the world market.
The first major surface-to-air project of DRDO was Project Indigo which took place in the 1960s. Without being able to achieve success, it was later dissolved. However, it paved the way to Project Devil and Project Valiant in the 1970s, the former of which led to the development of the Prithvi missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in the 1980s.
The Agni missile, Prithvi ballistic missile, Akash missile, Trishul missile, and Nag Missile were all a part of the Defense Ministry's IGMDP, a program to develop a comprehensive range of missiles.
DRDO was restructured in 2010 as per the orders of the then Defense Minister, A. K. Anthony. According to the Defense Minister, this was done to give a major boost to defense research in the country and ensure the effective participation of the private sector in defense technology.
DRDO has created other major systems along with critical technologies such as aircraft avionics, tanks, and armored vehicles, UAVs, command and control systems, small arms, artillery systems, EW Systems, sonar systems, and missile systems since the time of its establishment.
The DRDO is responsible for the ongoing Light Combat Aircraft. It provided key avionics for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI program under the "Vetrivel" program. The DRDO is part of the Indian Air Force's upgrade programs for MiG-27 and Sepecat Jaguar combat aircraft.
DRDO has also assisted Hindustan Aeronautics with its programs including the HAL Dhruv helicopter and the HAL HJT-36 along with the indigenization of spares and assemblies for several aircraft.
The DRDO has also developed two unmanned vehicles named the Nishant tactical UAV and the Lakshya (Target) Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA)
The DRDO has plans to go ahead with its plans to develop a new class of UAVs and are expected to be substantially more capable. DRDO cooperates with the Ordnance Factories Board for producing its items which is said to be the reason for marginal quality control and time consumed rectification. In recent years, OFB has been modernized due to the increasing funds coming it way.
DRDO has centers of excellence that work in the areas of life sciences, high energy materials, cryptology, composite materials, sensors, and MEMs, and so on.