IIT Madras to showcase Next Generation Technologies at DefExpo 2020


Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras is going to showcase next-generation technologies during DefExpo 2020, the biennial defence exhibition scheduled to be held from 5th to 9th February 2020 at Lucknow. It will cover the complete spectrum of the country’s aerospace, defence and security interests.

IIT Madras is the ‘Knowledge Partner’ of Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor and will form part of the TIDCO (Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation) Pavilion in the Expo. The efforts of defence-related startups which are participating in the IDEX and are being incubated by IIT Madras will be on display.

Speaking about the participation of IIT Madras in the expo, Professor of Practice Lt. Gen. (Retd.) P.R. Shankar, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, who is taking keen interest in the Defence-related projects of IIT Madras, said, “We are now on the verge of making a mark on the Defence industry through the technologies developed by our faculty and through our start-ups incubated in our one of its kind Research Parks. We have come a long way since the last DefExpo held in Chennai.”

Some of the Technologies that will be showcased include:

Ø Multi Role Expendable UAVs: IIT Madras is in the process of an indigenous ‘design and development’ of a range of multirole expendable UAVs to encompass Surveillance, Logistics, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Weapons) Monitoring, and offensive roles. The project, when completed will build substantial non-contact warfare capabilities into our Armed Forces.

Ø Next Generation Fire Control Network: IIT Madras has made significant progress on an indigenous Processor called ‘Shakti.’ It is now building the next generation of Artillery Combat Command and Control Network. The fire control network has been proposed to be based on Shakti Processor in a lightweight tablet configuration. It will be a precursor to secure net-centricity in the Armed Forces incorporating all new weapon systems.

Ø Ramjet Projectile Technology: IIT Madras is on the verge of a breakthrough in ‘Ramjet Technology’ for incorporation in Artillery projectiles. This project when successful will double the range of engagement of targets and will make a substantial difference in Armed Forces combat capabilities.

IIT Madras is working with Defence Industry on a number of issues. There is now a broader understanding that the Institute can contribute immensely in the niche and emerging technologies. Following this, the Institute will be entering into several MoUs during this expo, including:

Ø An MOU will be signed with the Ordnance Factory Board for the establishment of a joint Centre of Excellence for Ammunition in emerging technologies in hypersonic/ supersonic ballistics and their impact on the design of Ordnance and Ammunition and damage to platforms/ materials

Ø An MOU will be signed with Bharat Electronics Limited for the establishment of research and collaboration in the areas of ‘Propellants, Explosives and Related Technologies

Further, the Institute will also be actively participating in Seminars in the Defexpo 2020. On 4th February 2020, a faculty from IIT Madras was a Key Industry Speaker in the Special Interest Group Meet in Defence Technologies being held at IIT Kanpur as a precursor to the Defexpo. On 6th February 2020, an IIT Madras faculty will moderate the Seminar being conducted by TN Government/TIDEL Park on ‘Tamil Nadu – The Emerging Global Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Destination.’

On 6th February 2020, IIT Madras in conjunction with Bharat Shakti will be conducting a seminar on Harnessing Strengths of R&D Establishments, Academia and MSMEs for Triggering Defense Manufacturing and Exports. The focus will be on Synchronizing the Academia and Defense Industry Relationship.


IIT Madras set up a stall in the Defexpo 2018 in Chennai. Many students and faculty got their first exposure to aerospace and defense. It also conducted a seminar in the event. IIT Madras now offers an elective course on ‘Overview of Defense Technologies,’ which has received overwhelming response.

The Institute conducted two major defense-related events in recent times.

The 12th International High Energy Materials Conference and Exhibit – 2019 (HEMCE 19) was conducted from 16 – 18 December 2019. The conference discussed the latest technologies in rocket propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics. It established a major connection with the users for their valuable inputs so that technologies get developed as per services requirements.

The second event was the SHAASTRA-2020, the annual student techfest of IIT Madras, held from 3-5 January 2020. The theme for the event was Defence Technology and the focus was on disruptive technologies of the future – AI, Robotics (autonomous and unmanned systems), IoT, Networks, Cyber Security, Augmented and Virtual Reality. The institute is now set to participate in various activities in the forthcoming Defexpo2020 in Lucknow.

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