Leadership is not an expertise, leadership is a constant education. A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. He is the one who sees before others see, farther than others see and sees more than others see. Integrity, insight and inclusiveness are the qualities that drive an ordinary individual to be a lead the masses. Liberation of mind from stereotypical thoughts and rising to the power on enlightenment is the rare profoundness that a distinguishes a leader from a follower. When Dr. Ummalaneni Raja Babu was doing his masters in IIT Kharagpur, never had he thought that one day he would be the Missile Man of DRDO.
Dr. Ummalaneni Raja Babu (2000/M.Tech/RE), Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, Distinguished Scientist and Director of Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has been appointed Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hyderabad. A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University, Ummalaneni Raja Babu received his master’s degree from IIT Kharagpur. He completed his MBA from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). He began his career in Indian Air Force in 1988 and joined the DRDO in 1995. Dr. U Raja Babu was chosen as Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems (DG, MSS) upon the retirement of Dr. BHVS Narayana Murthy, DS and Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems (DG, MSS) on May 31, 2023.
During the course of his 35-year aerospace career, he has worked on several helicopter and aircraft projects. In addition to that, he is also known for his significant role in the development of numerous missile systems. As Director Research Centre Imarat (RCI), he provided the impetus for the design, development, and successful demonstration of ballistic missile defence system capabilities. He was also responsible for the development of numerous essential technologies and mission mode projects, as well as the development of improved missile avionics for all tactical, ATGMs, strategic, cruise missiles, and armed forces weapon systems, providing necessary thrust to design, development and successful demonstration of ballistic Missile Defence system capabilities. “Mission Shakti,” India’s first anti-satellite missile test (A-SAT), was successfully demonstrated under his leadership.
Dr. Ummalaneni Raja Babu
Distinguished Scientist and Director of Research Centre Imarat (RCI)
Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur
Located in Hyderabad, Telangana, Research Centre Imarat (RCI) is a DRDO laboratory responsible for research and development of guided weapons, missile systems, and advanced avionics for the Indian Armed Forces. The research laboratory was established by APJ Abdul Kalam in 1988 and is currently headed by U Raja Babu.
Dr. Raja Babu’s ingenious efforts and contributions to defence applications brought him many recognition. He was conferred with ‘Path-breaking Research and Outstanding Technology Development Award’ for successfully leading the demonstration of Mission Shakti, India’s first Anti-Satellite Missile Test (A-SAT) strengthening indigenous defence capabilities. He also received the Agni award for excellence in Self-Reliance, the DRDO Scientist of the Year, and the Vigyan Pratibha Samman Award. A fellow of the Institution of Engineers (IE) and life member of many professional societies, he is renowned for his significant contributions as Programme Director of of RCI.
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