missile technology Current Affairs

Indian Army inks MoU with DRDO to raise MRSAM defence system regiment

The Indian Army has signed MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to raise one regiment of the advanced Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAM) defence system.

Background

The Indian Army is planning to have a total of five regiments of MRSAM defence system, which will be deployed opposite to China and Pakistan. Each regiment consists of four launchers with three missiles each. So five regiments will have total 60 missiles. Earlier the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi had approved proposal for procuring MRSAM system for the army.

About MRSAM

The MRSAM is an advanced, all weather, mobile, land-based air defence system. It can shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS aircraft.  It is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets at ranges of more than 50 km.

MRSAM is a land-based variant of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels. Each MRSAM system comprises a command-and-control system, mobile launchers, tracking radar and missiles.

The system will be jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and DRDO with the involvement of DPSUs and private sectors. It has majority indigenous content, giving boost to the Make-in-India initiative.

In July 2016, the IAI and DRDO successfully had conducted three flight tests of the MRSAM at the integrated test range off the Odisha Coast. The missile had successfully intercepted moving aerial targets in all three tests.

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North Korea claims successful test of its first intercontinental missile  

North Korea has claimed that it has successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 into waters near Sea of Japan. The claim was confirmed by United States.

The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme gathered pace in the late 1990s. The successful test also marks North Korea’s the final step in becoming confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth.

Key Facts

Based on missile’s height and trajectory path, US scientists claim that missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.  The missile had reached an altitude higher and flew longer than any of the North Korea’s previous similar tests. The missile had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

US has strongly condemned the launch and added that it will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The ICBM testing represents a new escalation of the threat to US and its allies and partners, the region and the world.

What is Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)?

An ICBM is a missile launched by a land-based system that is intended to carry nuclear payloads. To qualify as an ICBM, a missile must have a minimum range of 5,500km. The most significant difference between an ICBM and other ballistic missiles is its greater range and speed. It enables countries to strike exceptionally distant targets with minimum warning.

What are experts saying about the North Korean claim?

Analysis by South Korea and Japan has supported the account given by North Korea, which said the missile reached an altitude of 2,802km and flew 930km. The US initially had described it as an intermediate-range missile but later conceded it was an ICBM. North Korea will be 8th nation in the world to successfully test ICBM. Other countries that have ICBM technology are US, Russia, China, UK, France, Israel and India.

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