Defence & Security Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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Government clears setting up of Defence Space Research Agency

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared setting up of new agency called Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO. The DSRO has been entrusted with task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.

Key Highlights

Background: The decision to set up a new agency for developing space warfare weapon systems was taken some time ago at the topmost level and the agency has already started taking shape under a Joint Secretary-level scientist.

Function:

The Defence Space Research Agency would be provided with a team of scientists who would be working in close coordination with tri-services (Indian Army, Navy and Air Force) Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) officers. The IDS was set up in October 2001 under Ministry of Defence in aftermath of ‘Operation Vijay’ (Kargil Operations) as an organisation that will be responsible for fostering coordination and enabling prioritisation across all branches of Indian Armed Forces.

DSRA would be providing research and development (R&D) support to Defence Space Agency (DSA) which again comprises of members of tri-services.

It is also charged with finding and implementing defense related applications for India’s entire spectrum of space technologies.

Significance: This newly approved space agency DSRA will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies so as to enhance capabilities of armed forces to fight wars in space.

About Defence Space Agency (DSA)

It is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three armed forces.

DSA has been created to help India fight wars in the space.

In April, the government established DSA to command the space assets of tri services, including military’s anti-satellite capability. It is responsible for formulating strategy to protect India’s interests in space, including addressing space-based threats.

In March 2019, India carried out a successful Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated the country’s capability to shoot down satellites in space. With this test it joined an elite club of four nations (only United States, Russia, China, and India) with similar capability. The test also helped India to develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

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DRDO test fires Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) from launch pad number-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha Coast.

About HSTDV

It is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft. It is designed to cruise at Mach 6 speed with scramjet engine.

Background: In 2008, DRDO stated that through HSTDV project idea was to demonstrate performance of a scram-jet engine at an altitude of 15 km to 20 km, is on. Thus under this project, DRDO developed a hypersonic vehicle that will be powered by a scram-jet engine.

Applications: HSTDV is dual-use technology thus with a scramjet engine, HSTDV can cruise at Mach 6 speed and can have multiple civilian applications. It can be used for launching satellites at low cost and can also be available for long-range cruise missiles of future.

Key Highlights of Test

Method: In test conducted, a missile mounted with technology demonstrator vehicle is launched and vehicle is released only after missile reaches a certain altitude and velocity.

Reason for launch: The launch of technology demonstrator vehicle was undertaken to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions and to validate several technologies including HSTDV.

Analysis: The HSDTV was supposed to fire and fly on its own after being carried to an altitude of around 30-40 km by solid rocket motor of an Agni-I ballistic missile in test but after launch, Agni-I booster went into an uncontrolled mode and could not achieve desired altitude. Some technologies have been validated while some remained inconclusive of which data is being analysed.

Scram-jet system v/s Ram jet system

In scram-jet technology, fuel combustion takes place in a chamber in missile at supersonic speeds while in a ram jet system, the system collects air it needs from atmosphere during flight at subsonic speeds and propellants burn in combustion chamber.

Month:  Categories: Defence & SecurityUPSC

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