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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Research Center Imarat (RCI)

    Vigyanakancha, Hyderabad, 500 069
    Fax   - 040-311941 
    Telex - 0425-2342 

The Research Centre Imarat (RCI) was established by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 1988 on a campus 8 km from Defence Research and Development Laboratory [DRDL] at Kanchanbagh. The origin of the nomenclature "Imarat" is obscure, being an Arabic word for "emirate" which is at times is displayed as IMARAT as though it were an acronym, though no expansion has ever been disclosed. The center's state-of-the-art facilities are dedicated to work in advanced missile technologies.

Kalam was the Project Director for the SLV-3 space launch vehicle that put the Rohini scientific satellite into orbit in July 1980. Kalam subsequently was appointed director of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory, where he formulated the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. The IGMDP, launched in July 1983, consists of the Agni intermediate range ballistic missile, the Prithvi surface-to-surface missile; the Nag anti-tank missile, the Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM), and the Trishul anti-ship missile. The Sagarika sea-launched missile and the Surya ICBM were subsequently added to the IGMDP. Development activities at RCI include the Light Combat Aircraft as well as these missile programs.

The open literature is rather vague on the precise relationship between the activities conducted at DRDL and those conducted at RCI. Naively, it might be assumed that the pre-existing facilities at DRDL were devoted to basic research and design activities, and that the subsequent establishment of the RCI facilities at a remote location was intended to provide the development and testing infrastructure needed for practical work on the IGMDP. It is frequently the case in countries such as the United States and Russia that administrative and design activities are conducted in an urban setting, while testing activities are conducted in a rural setting that provides a buffer isolating the test activity from the surrounding population. Consequently, it might have been imagined that the "flow" of IGMDP projects proceeded from basic design work at DRDL at Kanchanbagh, through development and testing at RCI, and subsequently returning to Bharat Dynamics at Kanchanbagh for production.

In fact, imagery of Kanchanbagh and RCI strongly suggests an alternative interpretation of the relationship among these facilities, which would place significant weight on the literal meaning of the names of DRDL and RCI. In contrast to a naive expectation, the infrastructure at DRDL includes rather extensive developmental testing capabilities, consistent with a focus on development at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory. In contrast, the facilities at Research Center Imarat would appear largely confined to more basic research. From this perspective, it might be imagined that the "flow" of IGMDP projects proceeds from basic design work at RCI, then moving to Kanchanbagh for development and testing at DRDL and production at Bharat Dynamics.

This understanding of the sequential progression of projects through various facilities provides an interesting insight into the development of India's missile program. It strongly suggests that by the mid-1980s A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had concluded that the primary challenge facing the IGMDP was the development of the requisite basic technologies, and that a development effort that lacked adequate technological foundation would be doomed to failure. From this perspective, the research conducted at RCI in areas such as materials, electronics and software provided the base on which an ambitious missile program could be successfully constructed.

Satellite Imagery of Research Center Imarat (RCI)


Prithvi Garrison [ probable ]

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:40:21 ZULU