DRDO explosive kit snapped up by US company - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 25 April 2011

DRDO explosive kit snapped up by US company

The chief of DRDO's High Explosives and Materials Research Laboratory with the representative of the US firm that will commercialise its explosive detection kit in the US.

Extracts from a Ministry of Defence press release today is pasted below


New Delhi: Vaisakha 05, 1933
April 25, 2011

A USA based firm Crowe & Company, LLC has entered into a licensing agreement with DRDO to acquire the technology of Explosive Detection Kit developed by the High Energy Material Research Lab (HEMRL), Pune, one of the constituent laboratories of DRDO. An MoU to the effect was signed by Dr. Subhananda Rao, Director HEMRL on behalf of DRDO, and Ms. Faye Crowe, President, Crowe & Company, LLC, USA here today.

HEMRL has developed the kit for quick detection and identification of explosives that can detect and identify explosives based on any combination of nitro esters, nitramines, trinitrotoluene (TNT), dynamite or black powder. The testing requires only 3 to 5 mg of suspected sample and only 3 or 4 drops of reagents. The explosive detection kit comes packed in a box the size of a vanity case and in miniature vials that can be kept in shirt pockets. It contains reagents capable of detecting explosives, even in extremely small, trace quantities.

Crowe & Company had approached FICCI under DRDO-FICCI, ATAC programme to enter into MoU for licensing agreement with DRDO for the said technology. In the past FICCI has also facilitated a similar kind of licensing agreement for explosive detection kit between DRDO an Indian company, named, Vantage Integrated Security Solutions (P) Ltd. The DRDO – FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment & Commercialisation (ATAC) programme is a unique initiative that aims for commercialisation of cutting edge technologies developed by various labs of DRDO for civilian applications.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Subhananda Rao, Distinguished Scientist & Director HEMRL, Pune informed that through the explosive detection kit, the security forces can instantly identify the explosive that was used for the detonation in the aftermath of a blast. They just have to take a sample of the residues from the scene of the crime and test it against the chemicals given in the kit. The change in colour tells them if the explosive used is RDX, TNT, PETN or any other chemical. Highlighting the features of the technology Mr S. Radhakrishnan, Director, DIITM, DRDO informed that the present technology is being widely used by the bomb detection squads of the Indian Army, paramilitary and police in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Ms Faye Crowe, President of Crowe & Company said that after getting the necessary approvals from the US regulatory institutions they are planning to introduce the explosive detection kit to the US army and US homeland security forces and in other international markets.


  1. Why we are giving technology? Why can't we sell these kits to USA directly or through any Indian company?

  2. I thought I saw similar news several months ago, may be this was when the US company was in talks with DRDO... Good for DRDO.

  3. This is just so great. We build the technology and then hand it over to the Americans so that they can make money. I am 100% sure that in a few years time we will be importing these detection kits at 10 times the price of India made kit. India teri jai ho!

  4. Ajai , can you please do a report on the current status of small arms like MSMC carbine, Vidhwanshak and the new trichy assault rifle and the experience of the forces with TAR 21 ??Thanks.

  5. For want of a better way to point this article, I am posting it on your blog. We could all use such writers to put things in another perspective. Please excuse me for taking this liberty. Thank you.


    I think Nadeem P's article is awesome, and only hope that more people in Pakistan can see the road their on as clearly..

  6. Great who in this gives state-of-art technology to another u kidding me go India u will find everything. When we purchase weapons from US they somehow escape from the Transfer of Technology (TOT) clause or if somehow they agree they provide outdated one which is of no use. Now, what they will do after acquiring the tech will go back US then add some fancy instruments in the kits and patent it after that challenge Indian tech that we copied it finally India has to stop production under US pressure and at last we buy from outside world @10 times more happily.

  7. DRDO is good at getting good PR , Anyone wondered how DRDO with massive budgets does not any bad press at all..........no scams, no heads rolling .


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