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PROTOTYPE MANUFACTURING UNIT 
7.62 mm SLR 
 
One of the earlier successful venture was the 7.62 mm Ishapore Self-Loading Rifle (SLR) and its ammunition which replaced the venerable 0.303 in. Lee Enfield bolt action Rifle. So far, more than one million rifles have been produced by our Ordnance Factories. This rugged and reliable weapon gave excellent account of itself in the hands of our Jawans in both the 1965 and 1971 wars. In the wake of the 1962 Chinese aggression, for our hardpressed gunners defending our mountain borders, ARDE, jointly with the Ordnance
Factories developed and produced 75/24 Pack Howitzer and a whole family of ammunition viz., HE, Smoke and Illuminating. This light weight howitzer could be broken down into smaller units for mule transportation in the mountains or could be carried underslung by helicopter. The weapon system saw action in the 1971 operations. This was the first artillery gun system developed indigenously.

105 mm Indian Field Gun (IFG) which replaced the legendary 25 Pounder of World War-II vintage in our Field Artillery Regiments, was originally developed at ARDE before being handed over to the Gun Development Team at Jabalpur- joint task force with experts drawn from ARDE, Ordnance Factory Board, Directorate General of Quality Assurance and the Users - the Regiment of Artillery. The IFG has been productionised in the Ordnance Factories.
 

122 mm ROCKET 

 

  The awesome fire power of the artillery rocket barrage was demonstrated and exploited to the full by the Soviet Army with its famous `Katyusha" rockets during the World War II. The post war era has brought about further refinements and the free-flight artillery rockets and multi-barrel launcher systems form a powerful adjunct to the field artillery and medium artillery guns. In keeping with this trend Indian Army, too, has inducted Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Systems in its service.ARDE has successfully developed
its SS-20 122mm rocket with HE fragmentation warhead. A battery of six launchers can deliver a salvo of 240 rockets in 20 seconds to a maximum range of 20 km and saturate a target area of the size of a football field with more than four tonnes of steel fragments and high explosives.
Even after the advent of the highly sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles that can defeat main battle tanks (MBTs), it is now generally accepted that the most cost effective weapon to fight and defeat heavily armoured MBTs is the high-velocity K.E. Ammn fired from gun mounted on tanks. This is accomplished in the current generation tank guns by firing Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition. In principle, it depends upon the high kinetic energy, super-dense, arrow-shaped, penetrator launched at hypersonic velocities to defeat the multilayer armour with which the modern MBTs are protected. The deceptively simple looking design, however involves some of the most demanding design and production technologies. ARDE has successfully developed the 105 mm Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition for the Vijayanta and Up-Gunned T-55 MBTs. ARDE can justifiably feel proud that with successful productionisation of this advanced ammunition, India has joined the ranks of a few select nations who have the capability of the design, development and production of FSAPDS ammunition and has effected a major saving in the foreign exchange by eliminating the import of technology.

Infantry Platoon Mortars are simple, smooth bore, muzzle loaded weapons that provide the platoon with its own mini-artillery cover by providing effective indirect fire for area effect. Till recently, our infantry was equipped with the World War - II vintage 2 inch mortar. To replace this ARDE has developed 51 mm Light Weight Infantry Platoon Mortar. This is man portable weapon capable of achieving double the range of 2 inch mortar without any increase in weight. Its new HE bomb uses pre-fragmentation technology to achieve vastly improved lethality in comparison with the conventional bomb. Besides, HE, the family of ammunition comprising smoke, illuminating and practice bombs have also been developed. The weapon system is under production at Ordnance Factories.

Modern military operations are also conducted during the night and under adverse conditions. Despite the availability of Night Vision devices illuminating ammunition is still required for night warfare, for illuminating the ground both for offensive and defensive actions, for identification and aimed fire. Over the years variety of illuminating ammunition have been developed for the infantry and light artillery. These are in regular production. ARDE has developed 81 mm, 120 mm illuminating bombs and 105 mm illuminating shell for infantry and Artillery. The performance of these bombs is comparable with the best in the world.

For the Armoured Corps, we made a significant contribution by the successful development of Up-Gunning kit for the T-55 MBT. The original 100 mm gun of this tank was retrofitted with 105 mm of the Vijayanta which greatly enhanced the fire power of the tank. Standardization of the gun and ammunition for both the tanks has brought about a major reduction in the logistic burden. With the combination of a rugged chassis and turret with a high performance gun and ammunition system, the upgunned T-55 compared well with the T-72s and Vijayantas.

Adrushy - The intellligent A/T Mine is our answer to the increasing threat caused by the MBTs of the nineties. With the introduction of this mine with shaped charge and magnetic or seismic cum magnetic influence fuze a new dimension has been given to the mine warfare. Sophistication, simplicity in handling and indomitable kill capacity makes the mine invisible and user friendly. This is under production at OFs since 1997.

Proximity fuzes are used with artillery projectiles to obtain air burst at an optimum height for maximum effectiveness particularly against troops in trenches. These are also used in anti-aircraft and anti-missile roles in which "near-misses" are converted into "kills" resulting in enhanced overall performance of the weapon system. ARDE in association with other sister Labs has developed a family of proximity fuzes which are under production in Public Sector Undertakings and Ordnance Factories . The fuzes contain sophisticated electronic devices and circuits which must withstand several thousands of `G" force during launch of the projectile.

Training of our troops in peace ensures the effectiveness of the "man-machine" system in war. Keeping this in view ARDE has developed several training devices for the Army:  
  • Mortar training device for 81 mm Mortar for the Infantry
  • Mortar training device for 120 mm Mortar for the Artillery.
  • 0.50 inch Subcalibre training device for 105 mm Vijayanta tank gun.
These devices impart realistic operational training to the crew at a fraction of the cost of the parent-weapon ammunition. This also eliminated the need for full scale firing ranges. These training systems provide intensive and cost-effective training to the troops.
 
 
 
One of the most prestigious and ambitious weapon system project undertaken at ARDE is the 120mm Main Armament and Ammunition system for the ARJUN MBT. This is a high-technology program involving a number of disciplines. ARDE has developed a super velocity gun and a family of ammunition with FSAPDS as the primary kinetic energy kill mechanism. It can be confidently stated that the fire power of ARJUN would be comparable with the contemporary MBTs available in the world. It may be noted that only four gun systems in this performance class have been developed abroad namely in UK, Federal Republic of Germany, France and Russia. Even the US and Japan have opted to adopt and licence produce the German 120mm Rheinmetall gun. Our Scientists and engineers, therefore, are justifiably proud to have joined this exclusive `club" with totally indigenous technology. The armament and ammunition system are under current production at OFB.

In the modern war, the stress on the Infantry soldier is enormous. Consequently, there is a constant and urgent need to optimize the designs of the infantry weapons by reducing their weight and size especially in the case of small arms. The 7.62 mm Rifle and Light Machine Gun (LMG) have been largely replaced by smaller, lighter and optimally more effective 5.56 mm and 5.45 mm weapons throughout the NATO and East European countries. The reduction of calibre may seem paradoxical to the lay person, but from external and wound ballistics, weapon design and tactical considerations, the 5.56 mm calibre has been conclusively proved to be the optimum solution. Besides reducing the fatigue with the lighter weapon load, the small 5.56 mm ammunition enables the soldier to carry more ammunition; due to low recoil, the stress on the soldier is also less during firing, thus improving accuracy.  

In keeping with this trend ARDE had undertaken one of the most important programs in its history, drawing heavily on its past experience with 7.62mm SLR, namely the 5.56 mm Indian Small Arms System (INSAS). The infantry was earlier equipped with three types of small arms firing two types of ammunition, viz. 7.62 mm Ishapore SLR, LMG and 9 mm carbine. The INSAS family which is replacing all the three weapons consists of Assault Rifle : fixed & foldable butt version, LMG : fixed & foldable butt version having 70% commonality of parts and all firing the same ammunition. By 1999, both rifles & LMG have been introduced into service and weapons are in the hands of soldiers. RFI and SAF of OFB are the production agencies with AFK for Ammunition.

Over the years the Army has felt the need for a weapon system, which could neutralize targets at ranges exceeding 30 km. To meet this demand, development of the surface-to-surface Pinaka MBRLS has been undertaken. The system will comprise a free-flight artillery rocket with different types of warhead & fuzes, a multi-tube launcher vehicle, a replenishment-cum-loader vehicle, a replenishment vehicle and a command post vehicle. There are two pods containing 6 rockets each, capable of firing in salvo mode within 48 sec neutralizing an area of 700 x 500 m. The MBRS will be effective for the destruction of troops in the open, "B" vehicles, softening of enemy objective, engagement of enemy formation HQs etc. This is a major multi-discipline program involving several DRDO Labs, Public and Private Sector Firms. ARDE is the system integrator and is also responsible for the flight vehicle, warheads, fuzes and launcher systems. The system has undergone pre-induction trials successfully and the Army is expected to place production orders shortly.
 
ARMS AND AMUNITIONS FOR NAVY  
 
In the past because of their specialized design and very limited requirements generated by a relatively small fleet of combat ships and vessels, most of Indian Navy"s requirements of Naval Armament stores were met by import. This picture is now changing: the country is emerging as a major maritime power with a "blue water" Navy capable of power projection much beyond its immeDIATe shores. ARDE, in a modest way, is expanding its activity in this sophisticated and demanding area dominated by a handful of nations with long Naval traditions.
 
SSE CARTRIDGES  
 
  Submerged Signal Ejector Cartridges (SSE) are fired from submarines for signalling to ships and aircraft/helicopters during Naval exercises and in times of distress. ARDE has developed this important store for the Navy.
LIMPET MINE  
   
  ARDE has developed a Limpet Mine for the Indian Navy. These Mines are attached to the hull of the target vessels by the naval divers for underwater sabotage of the naval or merchant vessels in enemy waters. Initial operational requirement was met by ARDE and now it is in series production at OFs.  
   
SHORT RANGE A/S ROCKET  
   
  In the field of anti-submarine warfare, a short range anti-submarine rocket with HE and practice warheads - has been developed and productionized. These rockets can be launched singly or in salvo from multi-barrel rocket launchers on-board ships.
   
Sea Mines  
   
 
The Iran-Iraq Gulf conflict clearly demonstrated the strategic importance of sea mines in Naval Warfare and control of coastal and international water-ways which can have a dramatic influence on the outcome of any modern war. Sea mines are essentially weapons of stealth. Moored or laid on the sea-bed, these mines lie passively waiting for the unwary enemy ship to come within their zone of action and then explode to cause crippling damage or even sink the ship. ARDE has embarked on the development of the Indian Sea Mine which is capable of being deployed against submarines as well as surface vessels, combining the state-of-the-art technologies in sensors and electronic signal processing for target identification and initiation. The item has been developed.
 
MRECM AND 76.2 mm PF SHELL  
   
  The Falklands war as well as the Iran-Iraq Gulf War conclusively demonstrated the effectiveness of surface skimming long - range anti-ship missiles (ASMs) against surface vessels and now have emerged as the most serious threat. To encounter this threat ARDE has developed Short and Medium Range ECM rockets which are fired in the direction of the incoming missile. The chaff cloud of aluminium foil generated by these rockets decoy the homing missile away from the target ship by producing a false radar echo. In addition, ARDE has also evolved 76.2 mm PFHE shell for the Navy as an active counter measure against the anti-ship missiles. This shell is prefragmented and

is provided with a proximity fuze. Thus the large number of high energy fragments are delivered in the vicinity of the target and destruction of target is ensured. Howsoever sophisticated a modern combat aircraft as a weapon delivery platform may be with advanced propulsion, aerodynamics, avionics etc. its mission effectiveness will ultimately depend on the armament payload viz., bombs, rockets, missiles or guns which it carries.

Design and development of airborne armament stores for combat aircraft is a demanding and painstaking area of ARDE"s activities. Before any airborne equipment is awARDEd operational airworthiness for type-approval, it is subjected to extremely rigorous tests and flight trials. The enormous cost of modern combat aircraft and the value of the life of a trained combat pilot impose these rigorous requirements on the designer.

   
Retarder Tail Unit 
   
  Low-level bombing attack has become inescapable in order to evade detection by the enemy radar and consequent missile and AD gun fire. With conventional free-fall gravity bombs, however, the mother aircraft is still in the danger zone when the bomb impacts. RetARDEr Tail Unit (RTU) and fuze system developed by ARDE for the 450 kg (1000 lb) bomb enables high-speed low-level release of this bomb by our strike aircrafts. The fall-velocity of the bomb is retARDEd by a drogue parachute and the aircraft flies ahead of the
danger zone before the bomb impacts. A sophisticated fuze provides the necessary safeties. Our front-line strike aircraft are now equipped with RTU fitted with 450 kg bomb 
 
68 mm Rockets  
   
  One of the early air armament projects successfully carried out by us was the 68 mm "Arrow" Rocket. These low calibre rockets are launched from a multi-tube rocket pod carried on underwing hard-points of strike/fighter ground-attack aircraft, and capable of performing in the dual air-to-surface and air-to-air roles. Three versions of the rocket- HE, Practice and HEAT are being produced in large numbers at OFs for the Airforce and Navy.
   
 
450 kg High Speed Low Drag (HSLD) Bomb 
The existing 1000 lb (450 kg) bomb in IAF service is based on the design evolved during World War II and therefore, not optimized for use with the current generation of high speed combat aircraft. This bomb imposes excessive drag penalty in the high speed laydown mode, adversely affecting aircraft performance in general and radius of action in particular. A 450 kg high speed low drag (HSLD) bomb was developed by ARDE. The bomb is now under regular production
 
PRACTICE BOMBS 
 
Training of combat pilots in bombing missions with full-scale live bombs is both prohibitively expensive and also constrained from range safety considerations. In order to overcome these problems, ARDE has developed a low weight retARDEr practice bomb for use on all types of fighter, strike and trainer aircraft in the IAF and Indian Naval Service. The bomb can simulate the trajectories of different types of bombs by substitution of different drag plates. The bomb has a fibre reinforced plastic body and is now under regular production.   
 
ESCAPE-AID CARTRIDGE 
 
The most important asset in the inventory of any modern Airforce is its combat pilots. It takes enormous amount of time, efforts and money to groom a pilot to the required level of proficiency. Their lives are extremely precious and require to be protected under all adverse circumstances. All combat aircrafts are, therefore, provided with crew escape aid systems which demand the highest degree of operational reliability.

Escape Aid Cartridges are fitted in the ejection seat system of the aircraft and enable the pilot to eject safely in emergency. Similarly, power cartridges are used to operate a number of other functions like fire extinguisher, canopy ejection, weapon ejection, stores release system etc. So far 52 types of escape aid and power cartridges have been developed for a variety of aircraft used by the IAF, Navy. In view of the extremely high degree reliability, their low installed life and small quantity requirements at a time, the Users insist on their production and supply by ARDE itself. Hence a pilot plant has been established for this purpose. Lives of a number of pilots have been saved by the use of ARDE produced power cartridges. The strategic importance of these could therefore be appreciated in view of the fact that combat aircraft, singly or in squadrons, could get grounded for want of these critical cartridges and thus affect their operational readiness. We have thus not only eliminated our dependence on foreign supply but have also saved considerable amount of foreign exchange.   
 
PIEZO ELECTRIC CRYSTALS 
 
Development of sophisticated technology for Lead Zirconate Titanate piezo-electric material, commonly known as PZT, has been a major break through at ARDE. This material finds extensive application in the armament fuzing of several HEAT ammunition. Due to the impact momentum of the shell against the hard target, PZT crystals produce a high voltage pulse to initiate the hollow charge warhead. In order to meet the production needs of various armament projects, PZT is produced in the Pilot Plant at ARDE.

The production technology has also been transferred to CEL, Sahidabad to cater for the bulk needs of the OFs. Now our PZT crystals are in demand not only to meet the critical sonar systems in sophisticated ASW applications but also some special applications by BARC, ISRO and other agencies. With the indigenisation of this strategic material substantial FE has been saved and dependence on foreign sources has altogether been eliminated. Considering growth potential of the piezo ceramic technology and existing facilities and expertise available at ARDE, R&D HQrs has sanctioned DRDO Centre for Piezoceramics and Devices under the management of ARDE. With this it will be possible to achieve self sufficiency in this highly potential and strategic field of smart and very smart sensor materials, actuators and transducers, also demonstrate the technology at pre-commercial level, undertake limited production and establish product applications.  
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