Air Defence Systems Current Affairs - 2019

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QRSAM: successfully test-fired by DRDO

Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted two back-to-back flight tests of its state of the art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAM) from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in Odisha. The test was conducted against live aerial targets.

Key Highlights of Test

Two missiles were tested against two live targets and met complete mission objectives of engaging targets.

Entire mission was captured by various Electro Optical Tracking Systems (EOTS), Radar Systems and Telemetry Systems.

Systems have been tested in final configuration with RADAR (radio detection and ranging) mounted on a vehicle & missiles on launcher.

Systems are equipped with indigenously-developed Phased array radar, Inertial Navigation System, Data Link & RF seeker.

Test Result: Two missiles were tested for different altitude and conditions and test flights successfully demonstrated their high manoeuvring capabilities, aerodynamics, propulsion and structural performance.

About Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAM)

It is a sophisticated all-weather and all-terrain missile.

Developed By: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for Indian army with search and track on move capability with very short reaction time.

Features:

QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant.

Range: 25-30 km

It can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister.

It is equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars.

It has many state of the art technologies with which it can engage targets at different ranges and altitudes.

NOTE: 1st trial of QSRAM was conducted on 4 June 2017 and on 26 February 2019, two rounds of trials were successfully carried out on same day.

NASAMS-II: India plans to procure advanced air defence system from US

India is in talks with United States to procure National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), an advanced air defence system at $1 billion to defend National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks. The proposal is in Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now which was approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

NASAMS-II

NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS developed by Raytheon in partnership with KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace of Norway. It has been operational since 2007.  It features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.

NASAMS-II is highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defence requirement. It provides tailorable, state-of-the-art defence system that can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.

NASAMS-II is armed with 3D Sentinel radars, short and medium-range missiles, launchers, fire-distribution centers and command-and-control units to quickly detect, track and shoot down multiple airborne threats. It is part of the air defence network guarding US capital city Washington DC. It is also deployed in several NATO countries.

Significance for India

India’s purchase of NASAMS-II will help in preventing 9/11-type on NCT Delhi. It will also complement India’s other systems such as the medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement. With this, India will join league of nations including US, Russia and Israel etc. who have their own missile defence systems to protect their national capital regions.

Background

India is deploying multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming fighter aircraft, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It is also in advanced stage of talks with Russia for procurement of very long range S-400 air defence systems. Apart from these imports, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the final stages of developing its two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system which is designed to track and destroy nuclear missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) earth’s atmosphere. Phase-I of indigenous BMD is expected to be deployed soon.