Odisha Current Affairs - 2020

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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.

DRDO successfully conducts Flight Test of ABHYAS

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO, an agency under Ministry of Defence) conducted successful flight test of ‘ABHYAS’, a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT). The test was conducted from Interim Test Range (ITR), at Balasore in Chandipur, Odisha.

Key Highlights of Test

  • The trial flight test was tracked by various Radars & Electro Optic Systems.
  • Results: Test proved its performance in fully autonomous waypoint (means a series of unique abstract GPS points that create artificial airways) navigation mode.
  • The system performance was as per the simulations carried out.
  • Importance: the test demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to meet requirement of mission for a cost effective High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT).

About ABHYAS

It a high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), which offers a realistic threat scenario for practice of weapon systems. It is designed for autonomous flying (with help of an autopilot).

Features:

  • Configuration: It is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine. For its guidance and navigation it uses indigenously developed Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based navigation system.
  • It has a Luneburg lens (a spherically symmetric gradient-index lens) in the nose cone which improves the radar cross-section of target for weapons practice.
  • It has an Acoustic Miss Distance Indicator (AMDI, a multi-role scoring system for gunnery training and weapons assessment) to indicate the distance it missed.