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DRDO Successfully Test-fires anti-Tank Nag Missile

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired anti-tank ‘Nag’ missile in Rajasthan. The test was conducted by Scientists of the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Missile Complex at Hyderabad, Defence Laboratory at Jodhpur, High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) at Pune and Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) at Pune.

Nag Missile

The anti-tank Nag missile is one of the five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP). The four other missiles developed under this programme include Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi. 

The Nag missile is a third generation anti-tank guided missile which works on “fire and forget” principle. The anti-tank Nag missile has been equipped with the highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker along with integrated avionics. This technology is possessed by very few nations. It also possess advanced passive homing guidance system.

The missile has been designed mainly to destroy modern main battle tanks and other heavily armoured targets. 

Nag can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The helicopter launched version known as helicopter-launched NAG (HELINA) can be fired from Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and HAL Rudra attack helicopter. The land-based version of the missile is at present available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA)

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Fact Box: Newly Built Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.

Salient Highlights

Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) is the first of its kind range that has been set up by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), one of the premier laboratories of the DRDO. ADE works on a range of UAVs (unmanned air vehicles).

The facility will be an integrated test centre for a cluster of DRDO’s aeronautical laboratories. The following labs will make use of the testing facility: the Centre for Air Borne Systems, the Gas Turbine Research Establishment, the Defence Avionics Research Establishment, the Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification, all of which are based in Bengaluru, and finally the Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment, which is based in Agra.

The facility is meant to conduct flight-tests of indigenous unmanned and manned aircrafts such as naval and trainer versions of the Light Combat Aircraft, the unmanned air vehicles- Rustom-I and Rustom-II (Tapas); the Airborne Early Warning & Control Systems (AEW&C), Air-to-Ground weapons, parachutes and aerostats, etc.

Significance

The 28 km strategic ATR is expected to facilitate conditions for research, which is expected to enrich the human resource required in the field of aeronautical testing. The test range envisages a two kilometer runway besides other tracking and control equipment.

The longer runway situated in the ATR will enable the developer labs to test bigger aircrafts such as the AEW&CS (Airborne Early Warning & Control Systems) aircraft meant for surveillance and intelligence gathering from sensitive areas. The DRDO’s AEW&CS will include much larger Airbus platforms in the future.

Background

The newly built ATR has been up and running for a few months. In November 2016, DRDO carried out its first successful flight of the UAV ‘Tapas’ 201, earlier called Rustom-2 in the ATR facility. Recently, in May 21, 2017, ADE had carried out the test flight of Tapas  for a duration of 6 minutes. Tapas is a MALE or medium altitude, long endurance UAV that can sustain for 24 hours monitoring over a 200 km area.

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India successfully carries out fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile

India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island. The Strategic Forces Command carried out the test with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni III was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011. Already several successful tests have been conducted making the missile a foolproof and a proven missile.

Significance

The missile has a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of re-entering the atmosphere at a very high velocity. Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from various platforms anywhere in the country. The missile forms the mainstay of India’s nuclear deterrence programme as it provides the strategic second-strike capability.

Agni-III Ballistic Missile

Agni-III is an intermediate range (3,000 km to 5,000 km) missile with two stages. It is surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile indigenously developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 17 metres tall and weighs about 48 tonnes. The missile has been equipped with the hybrid guidance, navigation and control systems along with an advanced onboard computer.

Strategic Forces Command (SFC)

The SFC is a specially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army. It forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It was created on January 4, 2003, by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.

Abdul Kalam Island

To inspire youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research, the state government of Odisha renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island as a humble tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Prior to the renaming, the island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.

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