Agni Missile Current Affairs - 2020

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DRDO’s Igniter Complex inaugurated

A Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) Igniter Complex was inaugurated at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune. The main purpose of the laboratory is to design, process, evaluate ignition systems for any kind of DRDO projects.

About the Igniter Complex

  • The new complex is equipped with sieve shaker, granulating machine, planetary mixer, pelleting machine, etc.
  • A design, modelling, simulation laboratory are a part of the complex.
  • The complex also has an assembly centre and a testing centre.

HEMRL

HEMRL develops rocket, pyrotechnic devices, gun propellants, high-explosive systems. Ignition is the crucial phenomenon in all these systems. HEMRL had developed ignition system for Prithvi, Agni, Nag, Akash, Pinaka, etc. It has also transferred the technology to Ordance factory, Pune. It also performs research on high-power explosives and on pyrotechnics.

A Brief History

In December 2015, a high-level committee that investigated a fire accident at the igniter complex had suggested this new complex. The committee found that there are grave risks to humans in making and designing of ignition systems and recommended advanced and remote controlled facility.

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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.

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