DRDO developing sensors to block CBRN threats

DRDO developing sensors to block CBRN threats

To build a strong defence against possible chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear radiation (CBRN) attacks aimed at the country, the Defence Research and Development Organisation is developing static and moving sensors, a top official said.

DRDO also would soon set up a institute near Delhi to train the armed forces' personnel in this field, DRDO Director General V K Saraswat told reporters here.

"The chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear radiation (attack) is a major area of concern. We are trying to have censors.. So, development of static and moving (like UAVs) sensors are in progress. The sensors would enable detection of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological agents," he said on the sidelines of a function.

"For this, we are also initiating a training institution, where we should be in a position to test our systems with real agents. So that, our armed forces are trained in detection, protection and mitigation. This will come up near Delhi. The CBRN activity will look for hundreds of crores of rupees," Saraswat, also Security Advisor to the Defence Minister, said.

On major events in the DRDO calendar this year, he said, the 5,000 plus km range surface-to-surface missile A V (Agni V) would be tested next month, while the country's latest 1000-km range sub-sonic land attack cruise missile 'Nirbhay' would be tested this year.

"Similarly, we have completed Tejas - the Light Combat Aircraft - for the Navy, which is going to enter the flight trial phase soon," he said. 

He also said the organisation had initiated three major programmes -- a very strong encryption group, which includes industry, academic institutions and DRDO labs, building components of Indian origin for networks and "our own operating system."

Observing that most of the networks in the country were designed and realised using foreign components and devices, he said, "So, we have a major problem there because they could be bugged with large number of malware or Trojan horse or anything. So, we need to build our own systems."

Citing several hacking attempts during the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, he said the country "really lacked" in the field of cryptanalysis and "We need to have a large number of people from Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Computer Science and Science in general, This group has to work really hard to create a potent group for cryptanalysis."

Stressing the need for strong cyber laws, he said, "..Ultimately, we have to bring very strong cyber laws, if you want to control the mischiefs which are being made by this social media network. Unless we have a strong cyber law, we will have a lot of crime being committed through this."

Indicating a larger budget for its research activities in the coming 12th five year plan, he said, "...in the 12th five year plan, we are preparing for what we need in 2030s and 2040s. So, it is going to be a much larger investment compared to the 11th five year plan."

Observing that technologies like high power lasers, space-based systems, network-centric systems, future underwater unmanned vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, aerostat systems needed to be developed in the 12th Plan, he said developing these needed "huge amount of money."