Areas of Work


System Design and Engineering

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Mission Analysis, System Design, Simulation and Post Flight Analysis of various tactical and Ballistic Missiles, are done starting from system definition and feasibility study, specification of different subsystems and finalisation of system configuration. All the above were successfully completed for all IGMDP Missiles, AD (exo and endo atmospheric Interception), SF and ASTRA projects.

Various guidance algorithm including command guidance, midcourse/terminal guidance, seeker based guidance and control system design have been developed. Very important contributions were made for trajectory and missile design, performance analysis, mission clearance and post flight analysis for these missile projects. Many specialized softwares on multi-sensor data fusion algorithm, weapon system algorithm for command and control, Nonlinear autopilot design, trajectory optimization, Aero parameter estimation etc., have been developed.


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Aerodynamic design and characterisation of different tactical and ballistic flight vehicles are carried out using analytical, computational and experimental methods. Rapid prediction methodologies are applied in the conceptual and preliminary designs which are further refined using CFD and wind tunnel tests.Enhanced aerodynamic configuration design of all missiles are carried out using state-of-art design features like near neutral stability, Low aspect ratio wings and control surfaces,Hypersonic aero-thermal characteristics etc. Multi Disciplinary Design Optimization (MDO), Grid Fin Technology is also studied for design improvements. Aerodynamic data generation for complete flight envelope, estimation of load distribution for airframe design, estimation of control efficiency and hinge moment, Store/stage separation studies for air launched missiles and multistage vehicles, air intake design and characterization ramjet/scramjet propulsion system etc., are carried out for different missile systems. Various aerodynamic testing facilities like supersonic wind tunnel, Aero ballistic range, hydrobasin, shock tunnel, Ludweig tube and hypersonic wind tunnel have been established.


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Propulsion Systems with varying thrust are developed for various missile programmes using liquid and solid propellants. Development of Bipropellant liquid rocket engine, Bipropellant Reaction Control System and Velocity Trimming Package (VTP), Divert and Attitude control system, Cold gas reaction control system are some of the notable achievements in liquid propulsion system.

Programmes for the development of Liquid Fuel Ramjet and pulse detonation engine are currently under progress. Development of important solid propulsion systems includes integrated solid fuel Ram rocket, solid propellant booster (4 fin finocyl grain configuration) with Jet vane thrust vector control, Dual pulse solid propellant rocket, safe and arm ignition system for rocket motor, and EPDM based thermal insulation system etc. Number of different test facilities such as Liquid Propellant Engine development facility, horizontal and vertical test facility for band rocket engine, and Liquid ramjet test facility has been established for testing various liquid engines.

Computational Dynamics

Vortex formation over missile 2. Missile separation from aircraft 3. Flow field over Jet Vane

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Since the experimental investigation and flight testing is very costly both in time and money, numerical simulation of external and internal flow field on complex missile configuration is playing an increasing role in estimating accurate aerodynamic and propulsive characteristics for the design of missile system.


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DRDL has developed a host of advanced industry standard 3D Euler and RANS codes using kinetic schemes to DEAL with both in viscid and viscous flows encompassing complete Mach number and angle of attack regime of the flight. These codes have been extensively validated against reliable experimental results and are used routinely as a design tool. Use of the advanced numerical methods in the missile design can reduce the development cost and time very significantly. Recent developments in CFD include 3-D q-LSKUM software to estimate control characteristics of aerodynamic surfaces and store separation dynamics. A new unsteady CFD solver KFMG has been developed and being applied to computational aeroelastic analysis. An Euler- Boltzman coupled solver has also been developed for low-density reentry flows.

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In the Computational Combustion Dynamic area competence has been developed in numerical simulation of turbulent reacting flows. Propulsion systems of various ongoing and future missile projects are being designed and analyzed using the commercial CFD softwares. Such as SCRAMJET combustor flow field simulation, JET VANE flow field simulation, TIP - TO – TAIL aero propulsive simulation of air breathing missiles, Exhaust plume and free stream interaction at base region, Conjugate Heat Transfer studies etc. Various advanced topics like ignition modeling, atomization modeling, turbulence – chemistry interaction and large Eddy simulation (LES) are being pursed in-house and also in collaboration with academic institutes.

Flight Structures

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DRDL has got expertise in the area of Structural Design and Development of Missiles. Present thrust areas are the design for elevated thermal environment and design for dynamic environment. The design starts with evaluation of both structural and thermal loads. The airframe sections are designed to withstand these loads. Thermal loads play a very important role at higher Mach number of the missiles.

This load dictates the selection of proper material, selection of thermal barrier coatings and evaluation of thermal stresses. Design of aerodynamic surfaces and associated mechanisms to deploy these is another important area of work. Opening mechanisms can be active or passive. The design is governed by the deployment time and the aerodynamics loads at the time of deployment. Dynamic characteristics of the missiles are also evaluated theoretically and validated experimentally by this group. Ground response test facility can handle mode shapes. Multiple excitations can be given and the accelerometers data is processed to get the dynamic characteristics.

All the structures are tested to validate the design. This group has facilities for material testing and structural testing. The structures can be tested in the combined environment of structural loads and external pressure load and also at elevated temperatures. The thermo-structural testing facility has been set up to simulate flight conditions. Efforts are on to develop the set-up for combined elevated temperature, structural and external pressure loads.

Computer & Communication

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The DRDO Computer Center became functional in 1983. Since then the group has been contributing to various programmers through its evolving computer setup. Today this group is responsible for activities in the areas of C4I and Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) of mission critical software’s. C4I system is Command Control Center, which provide Commanders at all echelons with accurate, timely and credible information for decision-making.

They provide a means to process, display and evaluate the developing situation. The C4I systems have been designed to handle the multi target scenarios arriving from multiple directions. The efforts of this group have resulted in development and realization of C4I system for various missile programmes.

An Independent Verification & Validation Group has been functional since the inception of the IGMDP programme. The objective of the group is effective validation of mission critical software as per customer requirement and reduces the number of bugs in any software developed to the level of at least 6 sigma. The IV&V of DRDL team has validated all the mission critical software of all projects and also projects from other DRDO laboratories. Several in-house tools have been developed in addition to use of commercial tools for software evaluation and validation.

Engineering & Fabrication

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First off development of hardware for Missile subsystems before the technology is transferred to external agencies is fabricated at DRDL. The product spectrum ranges from a small intersection fastener to high technology Seeker Guidance system. DRDL engineering & fabrication facilities are capable of developing Integrated Products and Processes using state of the art technologies, productionise and deliver world-class missile system hardware.

DRDL employs a strong Quality control and Quality assurance policy with well established quality practices and state of-art in house infrastructure for non destructive testing and evaluation, assembly testing and qualification of Missile systems and sub systems.

Main Capabilities in the area of Engineering & fabrication are:

  • Prototype Development, Realisation & Productionisation Mechanism
  • Design & Analysis of Special Equipment & Processes Development Tool
  • Mould, Jig, Fixture Design and
  • Fabrication, Integrated Manufacturing system software Different
  • Welding Technologies

Range & Instrumentation

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Range Instrumentation group provides all necessary instrumentation requirements for work centers and for field instrument requirements. This group is recognized for conceptual design and implementation of static test facility of different types of propulsion systems.

The following are the specific activities in this area:

  • Performance evaluation of propulsion systems, which are designed and developed for missile programmers.
  • Six component static test for Thrust Vector Controlled Propulsion systems
  • Evaluation of Flex Nozzle control systems
  • Instrumentation for development and testing of advanced propulsion systems like Scramjet/ Ramjet propulsion systems



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The supersonic surface to air missile ‘AKASH’ has a range of about 25Km and carries fragmentation warhead which is triggered by radio proximity fuse. The missile uses state-of-technology integral ramjet rocket propulsion system and the onboard digital autopilot ensures stability and maneuvers. The multi function phased array radar tracks the targets and guides missiles towards them. The weapon system has a network of radar sensors to effectively manage the air threats.

Salient Features

  • Multidirectional, Multitarget Engagement
  • Fully automated operation
  • Targets – Fighter A/C, UAV, Helicopter, Cruise Missile
  • All Terrain mobility
  • All weather operation
  • Advanced ECCM
  • Custom configured to meet user requirements

NAG (Third Generation Anti-Tank Missile)

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Third generation Anti-Tank Missile System ‘NAG’ has “fire and forget” and “top attack” capabilities. The Lock-on-before Launch Imaging Infra Red (IIR) homing provides capability for Day & Night operation. The Missile excels as a formidable support weapon for the Mechanised Infantry and Attack Helicopter formations.The Imaging Infra Red homing seeker has all-weather day and night capability.

The Nag system is for deployment on “NAMICA”, A tracked vehicle and on a Helicopter. Top attack mode using the advanced homing guidance system and tandem shaped charge warhead is used to defeat heaviest armour. In addition, high energy, smokeless propellant, light weight, high strength composite airframe with foldable wings and fins, onboard real-time processor with fast and efficient algorithms, compact sensor package and electric actuation system, digital autopilot and high immunity to counter measures make this missile a state-of-art Anti-Tank Guided Missile System.

Salient Features

  • RANGE-4.0Km
  • Fire & Force capability in lock-on-before-launch mode
  • “Day & Night operation (imaging infrared seeker)
  • ‘Top-Attack’ capability
  • High SSKP (Single Shot Kill Probability
  • Capability to defeat future tic tanks & other hard target


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Salient Features

  • 8 Nos. Ready-to-fire missiles on the turret
  • Option for additional 4 missiles in storage
  • 4 missiles can be fired in 1 minute
  • Mobility matching BMF-11


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ASTRA is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air to air missile indigenously designed and developed to engage and destroy highly maneuvering supersonic aerial targets. This highly agile and accurate missile can intercept high speed, highly maneuvering targets and can pull High level maneuvers. The kill boundary of this vehicle gives the enemy no chance of survival. This is one of its class with a low all up weight to have high launch range capability, this weapon system is meant for platforms like SU 30MKI, Mirage 2000 of Indian Air force and LCA developed by DRDO.

Salient Features

  • Airborne Launcher adaptable to Different Fighter Aircrafts
  • Smokeless Propulsion
  • Inertial Mid-Course & Terminal Homing
  • State-of-art ECCM features
  • All weather capability
  • Launch Speed 0.4M to 2M
  • Launch Altitude SL to 20Km
  • Launch Range 80Km
  • PJ-10

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    BrahMos is a Supersonic Cruise Missile System developed by DRDL with foreign collaboration. DRDO's share of the work is being executed under the Programme PJ10.



    Salient Features

    • Integral Booster & High Performance Ramjet System
    • Fuel based Actuation System
    • Nose Cap Control Thrusters
    • Inertial Navigation System
    • Active Radar Seeker

    HELINA (Helicoptor launched Antitank Missile)

    DRDL products

    A variant of NAG Missile to be launched from Helicopter is being developed under the Project named HELINA. The missile will have a range of 7 Km with all other features similar to NAG Missile system



    HSTDV (Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle)

    DRDL products

    Project HSTDV is a technology demonstrator aimed to demonstrate autonomous Flight of a Scramjet Integrated Vehicle using kerosene. The related technologies are new not only for India but for the entire aerospace community in the world and have potential applications in the areas of civil, military and space sectors. A demonstrator flight vehicle has been conceptualise to demonstrate the Scramjet technology for a short duration of about 20 seconds.


    • Mach No                                         6.5
    • Altitude                                           32.5 KM
    • Flight duration of cruise vehicle      20 seconds