Agni Missile Current Affairs - 2019

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AKASH-1S Missile: test fired by DRDO

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired Akash-1S surface to air defence missile system from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore off the Odisha coast. This is the second successive successful missile test by DRDO in last two days.

About Akash-1S

Background:

  • The Akash missile is a medium range multi-target engagement capable missile that was developed as part of Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Other missiles under IGDMP are Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles. The missile system was formally inducted into the Army on May 2015 and in the IAF on July 2015. Later in September 2015 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared seven additional squadrons of the Akash missile for IAF.
  • After a 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report stated that 30% of these missiles failed when tested and in 2017 itself the Army too agreed that missiles did not meet its operational requirements because of their higher reaction time.

Features

  • It is a supersonic surface to air missile with multi-target engagement capability.
  • Akash-1S is an upgrade version of existing Akash missile fitted with an indigenously developed seeker.
  • The new Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
  • Range: The missile has a range of about 25 km and altitude range of 18,000 metres (18km).
  • It is capable of neutralizing advanced aerial targets and in striking down enemy fighter jets and drones effectively.
  • Missile system uses: high-energy solid propellant for booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for sustainer phase thus is said to be highly mobile.
  • Variants: include Akash MK1, Akash-MK2. They have improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.

Way Forward

  • India taking certain steps to slowly fill the holes in its air defence elements such as by developing advanced surface-to-air missile called ‘Medium Range Surface to Air Missile’ (MRSAM) in collaboration with Israel.
  • Besides MRSAM, India is also procuring five regiments of renowned S-400 air defence system from Russia whose delivery will begin in 2020.

Agni 5 Missile Test Fired off Odisha Coast

India successfully test fired its indigenously developed Agni- 5 missile on 3rd June. The missile was launched from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. Agni missile is a surface to surface missile and is launched with the help of mobile launcher of the Integrated Test Range at Dr Abdul Kalam Island formerly known as Wheeler Island. This is the 6th test fire of the state-of-the-art Agni 5 missile.

The trial was a great success. The missile hit its target with great accuracy after covering its full distance. The entire flight was monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations.

Key Facts: Agni-5 Missile

Agni 5 ballistic missile is the brainchild of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is the most advanced in the series.

  • Agni-5 is a nuclear capable long range missile with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. The three stage, 17- meter tall, two-meter wide Agni-5 missile has a range of Agni-5 missile is 5000 km. It can carry a nuclear warhead weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.
  • Agni-5 uses Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System RINS. It is the most modern and gives very high accuracy. The Micro Navigation System or MINS helped the missile reach its target with precision.
  • Other features of Agni- 5 missile include, a high speed on- board computer, fault tolerant software and a robust reliable bus. The advanced computer and the inertial navigation system are the highlights of the missile as they aid in precision of the path.

The missile is highly reliable, has longer shelf life and enhanced mobility compared to the other versions. Agni-1 has a range of 700 km, Agni-2 with a 2000 km range, Agni-3 and 4 have a range of 2500 km to 3500km.