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Director's Profile


Director - ARDE

Dr. K M Rajan, a Mechanical Engineer, has a meritorious academic career, having received First Class with Distinction in B.Tech (NIT Calicut) and M.Tech (IIT Bombay), topping the course. He has obtained his PhD in the area of Flow Forming from IIT Bombay. He also has an MBA degree with specialization in Human Resource Management and Project Management, and a German language certification from Pune University. Dr. Rajan has 32 years of rich experience in the design and development of various Armament systems, particularly Artillery Rockets. He has international recognition for his work in the area of Flow Forming of Rocket Motors and is a well known Rocket Propulsion expert, with publication of more than 70 research papers in peer reviewed international journals & conferences.

As Director ARDE from 1st April 2014, Dr. Rajan has guided project teams for technology development, expedited crucial programmes and initiated new proposals. Using PSNext software based Project Monitoring System, he has rigorously monitored and reviewed projects for providing course correction. Considering Quality and Reliability to be premium, Dr. Rajan has implemented FMEA for robust product designs. He has made constant efforts to strengthen and re-align HR with organizational goals. Scientists are regularly deputed for advanced training in India and abroad. Young scientists are predominantly engaged for futuristic technology projects. Senior scientists are periodically reassigned to new projects for providing a fresh perspective for smooth progress. Reliability division and Software IV&V division have been formed.

Dr. Rajan held additional charge as Director, R&DE (Engrs), Dighi between 06 March to 07 April 2016.

Notable Contributions:

A milestone contribution has been the Productionization and ToT of PINAKA, the world class MBRS designed and developed by ARDE, which is the Army's frontline weapon system. More than 6000 PINAKA Rockets have been supplied to the Army. Users have projected the requirement for 1.9 lakh Rockets and 22 MBRS regiments. Dr. Rajan is the principal designer of the PINAKA Rockets. He has also spearheaded the development of Pinaka Mk-II with an enhanced range of 60 km and having remarkable accuracy and consistency. Enabling technologies such as indigenous Turbo generator based ET Fuze, flow forming of rocket motors, nozzle based ignition and case bonded motors, wrap around fin stabilization for rockets, high L/D low calibre composite propellant grain of finocyl design methodology, etc. were established. The firepower of Pinaka has received a major boost due to the successful performance of the Area Denial Munition Warhead capable of neutralizing an area of more than 12,000 m2 with devastating effects during the User trial conducted in Sep 2016 at Pokhran, and with the User recommendation for its induction. ATM and STM warheads are getting ready for User trials.


Notable Contributions: A milestone contribution has been the Productionization and ToT of PINAKA, the world class MBRS designed and developed by ARDE, which is the Army's frontline weapon system. More than 6000 PINAKA Rockets have been supplied to the Army. Users have projected the requirement for 1.9 lakh Rockets and 22 MBRS regiments. Dr. Rajan is the principal designer of the PINAKA Rockets. He has also spearheaded the development of Pinaka Mk-II with an enhanced range of 60 km and having remarkable accuracy and consistency. Enabling technologies such as indigenous Turbo generator based ET Fuze, flow forming of rocket motors, nozzle based ignition and case bonded motors, wrap around fin stabilization for rockets, high L/D low calibre composite propellant grain of finocyl design methodology, etc. were established. The firepower of Pinaka has received a major boost due to the successful performance of the Area Denial Munition Warhead capable of neutralizing an area of more than 12,000 m2 with devastating effects during the User trial conducted in Sep 2016 at Pokhran, and with the User recommendation for its induction. ATM and STM warheads are getting ready for User trials.

Dr. Rajan has put to use his vast experience in Rocket technologies to guide the range enhancement of GRAD 122 mm Rocket available with the Army from 20 km to nearly 40 km achieved during flight trials during technology development project. He has facilitated ToT of ARDE products and has helped establish several work centres across the country for vital technologies such as flow forming, filament winding, TPS for rocket motor, propellant processing, etc.

Under Dr. Rajan's command, DRDO's blue chip project for development of Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) is going full steam, encouraged by the successful dynamic Proof trials using ARDE developed Fixed Firing Stand, ANGAD. Through his negotiation skills, meticulous supervision and timely action he has built up a good rapport with the numerous players involved in this vital programme, thus paving the way for realization of the first ever 155mm/52 calibre Artillery Gun for the Nation.

With the upgradation of Hypervelocity tunnel facility, ARDE's ambitious Electro Magnetic Gun project is on a fast track. Assembly of two Railguns of 12 mm and 30 mm Square Bore, test firing of 12 mm Railgun and layout for 1.6 MJ Capacitor bank has been completed, and the target is to fire a 1 kg projectile with a velocity of more than 2000 m/s with a capacitor bank of 10 MJ.

Dr. Rajan is ably steering ARDE in the field of Precision Guided Munitions. Mid-course guidance has been established for the Laser homing Cannon Launched Guided Missile. 120 mm Laser guided ATGM for empowering MBT Arjun MK-II is being developed. Development of Guided Pinaka having INS+GPS guidance with canard control, Accuracy of 60 – 80 m and Range enhancement up to 80 km is aimed at. Dynamic trials are planned during Dec 2016. Preliminary Adaptation of 450 kg HSLD Bomb with Griffin LG Kit & Dual Fuze on Jaguar and Su-30 has been completed. As a result of Dr. Rajan's persistent follow-up, Su-30 aircraft has been approved by Air Force as the platform for HSLD Bomb with Precision Guidance Kit , thus removing the hurdle for final implementation. Design & development of a variety of warheads for tactical missiles are also being progressed at ARDE.

The New Family of Munitions (NFM) programme, comprising six types of mines with sophisticated RF communication features, is progressing well. NIPUN has successfully completed User trials, VIBHAV & VISHAL are presently undergoing User trials, while remaining are fast approaching User trials. Several of the infantry projects are coming to fruition, namely, 40 mm Air Bursting Grenade, Joint Venture Protective Carbine, Multi Calibre Individual Weapon System and Corner Shot Weapon.

On the Naval front, Range extension of existing Anti-Submarine Rocket for RBU 6000 Launcher up to 8.5+ km has been successfully demonstrated.

Infrastructure development: Dr. Rajan has made immense contributions to Infrastructure development. Fully equipped Rocket Technology Centre, Hypervelocity Centre, Gun Integration Facility for ATAGS, state-of-the-Art Fuze simulation facility, fully automatic Anechoic Chamber, Structural Load Test facility for Aircraft bombs, Rapid Prototyping Machine, Cold Isostatic Press, Special Project Facility, renovated Technical Management division, Security Complex with Access Control System, well developed Range Complex, ultra modern Information Centre for Armament Technology are some major contributions. Dr. Rajan has taken keen interest in modernizing the Computing & Networking Solutions facility. An upgraded 2-roller flow forming machine centre has been established at the Prototype Manufacturing Unit for manufacture of a variety of Shaped charges for various Warheads. A Virtual Reality Centre and a complete overhaul of the Prototype Manufacturing Unit are in the pipeline.

Research Publications: He has more than 70 research publications in International Peer Reviewed Journals and conferences and several invited talks in International conferences and seminars to his credit.

Honours and Awards: Dr. Rajan has been felicitated with DRDO Performance Excellence Award 2002 & 2012, Lab Technology Group Award 2008 & 2012, HEMSI Silver Jubilee Award 2012, Scientist of the year Award 2011, AeSI Dr. Biren Roy Trust Award 2015 & DRDO Agni Award for Excellence in Self Reliance 2015, to name a few. Two scientists have acquired Ph.D under his guidance and one is presently pursuing Ph.D.

Membership of Professional Bodies : Dr. Rajan is a fellow of Aeronautical Society of India, fellow of Institution of India, Secretary of INSARM National Council and life member of ASI, ISNDT & HEMCI.

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