Hyderabad: Hyderabad played a crucial role in the
development of the Agni long-range missile system, with a majority of
the components conceived, designed and manufactured in the city.
Scores of scientists from various laboratories of the Defence Research
and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad, as also those from
local companies involved in the manufacture of defence components
worked tirelessly for over five years to strengthen the country’s
defence capabilities in the form of Agni-5.
Agni-5, a new generation missile, has put India in the elite club of
nations possessing intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the credit
goes to scientists and engineers from Andhra Pradesh or those who have
made the State their second home.
Four of the six important institutions that played a key role in the
research and development of Agni-5 are located in Hyderabad. The
Advanced Systems Laboratory, Defence Research and Development
Laboratory (DRDL), Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) and
the Research Centre Imarat among other scientific institutions made
India’s first 5000 km-plus range missile a reality.
As Dr VK Saraswat, chief of DRDO, pointed out 80 per cent of the
components of the Agni-5 have been made in the country. Many local
scientists, machinists and engineers are involved in the manufacture
of the missile. Even scientists, who are not native of Andhra Pradesh,
have made Hyderabad their second home city. Dr Saraswat, for instance,
hails from UP, but has obtained his crucial doctorate in propulsion
engineering from Osmania University.
Agni Project director Tessy Thomas is from Kerala, but loves Hyderabad
as her second home city. Gundra Satheesh Reddy of Research Centre
Imarat, and his team developed crucial components for the Agni-5
missile. They include Ring-laser gyro-based Inertial Navigation System
(RINS), Micro-Navigation System (MINGS) and onboard avionics.
Thanks to the Hyderabad team, the Agni missile system has become
lighter and thus more powerful in travel and strike. It made Agni
missile series particularly Agni-5 lighter in weight and reliable.
Last year Satheesh Reddy won the DRDO scientist of the year award from
the Defence Ministry for his contribution to the Agni and other
Tessy Thomas was instrumental in developing a major technology related
to re-entry vehicle system. Long-range missiles are sent high into the
sky up to 1200 km and as they re-enter the atmosphere the temperature
touches 3000 km. This is the crucial phase and the missile components
should remain functional and intact at this high temperature.
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