MISSILES, which are cheaper and easier to operate and maintain than bomber aircraft, have come to symbolise power and coercion in international relations. They, especially with nuclear delivery capability, are a deterrent against any potential aggression. India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), initiated by DRDO in 1983, was launched to develop a family of strategic and tactical guided missiles indigenously. Since then, DRDO along with many public-sector organisations and private sector units has achieved a unique degree of success. Two variants of a short-range ballistic missile (Prithvi), strategic missile (Agni), ship launched missile (BrahMos), air-to-air missile (Astra), and antitank missile (Nag) have been successfully developed.
DRDO, with its entrepreneurial and competant human resources and avant-grade intrastructure has not only successfully placed in the hands of the nation an effective deterrence capability but has also made India one of the few technologically advanced States capable of building indigenous missiles.

Dr V K Saraswat
Rajendra Prasad