With the vision to emerge as a major R&D centre in the field of microwave tubes, Microwave Tube Research & Development Centre (MTRDC) was established in 1984. From a small room in the erstwhile Centre for Aeronautical Systems Studies & Analyses (CASSA), ADE Complex, Bangalore, in 1984 to a small accommodation in the premises of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore in the year 1985, MTRDC got its main technical building within BEL Complex in 1992. The proximity to the Microwave Tube Division of Bharat Electronics, facilitates continuous interaction between R&D and production teams for concurrent development of technologies and products to fulfil the radar and electronic warfare (EW) systems requirements of the Defence services. In 2011, the JC Bose Microwave Tube Facility was added to MTRDC's technical accommodation. For the expansion of the lab, 2 acres of land has been acquired from BEL, and building construction has been initiated for which foundation stone laid by Secretary and DG, DRDO, on May 07, 2016.
In the nascent stage, MTRDC focused on the computer-aided-design (CAD) to establish a strong design capability for meeting the challenges of designing travelling wave tubes (TWTs) for radars and ECM systems. Subsequently, various aspects of microwave tube engineering have been mastered. MTRDC now houses excellent dedicated facilities and has core competence in several specialized areas specific to the design and development of different types of TWTs, electronic power conditioners (EPCs), microwave power modules (MPMs) and transmitters.