missile technology Current Affairs - 2019

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Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile Ghaznavi

Pakistan successfully conducted night training launch of hypersonic surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf-III Ghaznavi from Sonmiani test range in Balochistan.

About Hatf-III Ghaznavi Missile

It is “Scud” type short range surface-to-surface hypersonic ballistic missile. It is named after 11th century Muslim Turkic conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni. It has been designed and developed by Pakistan’s missile developer- National Development Complex. Its design is believed to be influenced from Chinese design, M-11 (NATO reporting name: CSS-7). It had entered in service with Pakistan Army in 2012.

Features: It has length of 9.64m, diameter of 0.99 m, launch weight of 5256 kg. It is powered by single stage solid fuel rocket motor. It is capable of delivering multiple types of warheads (both nuclear and conventional warheads) upto range of 290 km.

Kashmir Connection with this test

The launch of missile coincides with Pakistan’s scaled-up effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.  It is also seen as part of two-pronged effort to internationalise Kashmir issue at both military and diplomatic levels, and for impact, raise spectre of nuclear war between the two countries.

In protest to India’s decision to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and also had expelled Indian High Commissioner. It also suspended its trade with India and stopped train and bus services. India has categorically notified international community that repealing of temporary provision of Article 370 was internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

India’s Shaurya missile: DRDO is developing similar missile to Pakistan Hatf-III Ghaznavi Missile for Indian. It is short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Shaurya. It is capable of carrying different types of warhead (including both nuclear and conventional) weighing around one-tonne at hypersonic speed up to 600km range.

Agni-5 missile successfully test-fired

Nuclear capable surface to surface Agni-5 ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. It was user associated trial of missile undertaken by strategic force command along with DRDO scientists.

About Test

The missile was launched with help of mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. During this trial, the flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations.

It was seventh trial of the indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile. The first test was conducted in April 2012, second in September 2013, third in January 2015 and fourth in December 2016. The fifth test was held January 2018 and seventh was held in June 2018. All the trials were successful.

 Agni-5 ballistic missile

It is three-stage solid propellant nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is about 17 metres long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes.

Agni-5 is latest and most advanced variant in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine in Agni series of missiles.  It has strike range of over 5,000 kilometres and can carry nuclear warhead of 1.5 tonne. Thus, it can hit most northern parts of China and other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Unlike other missiles of Agni series, Agni-5 is most advanced missile having new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. It is also a fire and forget missile, which once fired cannot be stopped, except by interceptor missile which only US, Russia and Israel have.

It carries Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV) payloads. A single MIRV equipped missile that can deliver multiple warheads at different targets. It is also incorporates advanced technologies involving ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer for navigation and guidance. It has not yet inducted into the Services.