How missiles get their names

How missiles get their names

Deepa Bhasthi | TNN

Bangalore: How do you name a missile? Or a tank? Or an aircraft for that matter? If you thought Agni, Prithvi and Akash were random names scientists just came up with, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Developing missile technology is hard work, and for scientists, their baby. Research keeps them up long hours, away from family and friends and it is but natural that great deliberation takes place before christening these babies.
Sanskrit names are always given preference.

Scientists believe such names are powerful. All names are, in one way or the other, connected to the function of the missile, aircraft or tank. Take for instance Agni, the intermediate range ballistic missile. The fire or the energy needed for propulsion is what gave the missile its name.

Explaining the naming procedure, W Selvamurthy, chief controller of life sciences and human resources at Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said missiles and other products developed by the labs are given names that have a ‘‘functional meaning and/or a scientific rationale’’.

The director of each project, along with the team, proposes a few names that they think would be appropriate. The proposals go to the chief controller of the lab which is working on the project and the final name is decided keeping in mind the functions of the final product.

PRITHVI | Surface to surface missile from the earth
AKASH | Surface to air missile that touches the skies
LAKSHYA | Pilotless target aircraft, all about taking aim
NAG | Anti-tank missile, hits from top like a hooded serpent
TEJAS | Indigenous light combat aircraft that will provide an ‘aura’ for India

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