Title: Recent Achievements of DRDO

  • Category
    Defence
  • Published
    31st May, 2019

Context

  • Recently, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test fired guided bomb from Sukhoi combat jet and AKASH-MK-1S missile.
  • Parallelly, Indian Army along with Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) also test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Sukhoi jet at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

About

Guided bomb from Sukhoi combat jet

  • Guided bombs are meant to precisely hit a designated target to minimize collateral damage.
  • DRDO test fired an indigenously-developed 500 kg class Inertial Guided Bomb from Su-30 MKI Aircraft from the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan.
  • It achieved the desired range and hit the target with high precision.
  • It is capable of carrying different warheads.
  • The weapon being developed is similar to the SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective), an Israel made bomb which was used by the Indian Air Force to hit terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26, 2019.

Supersonic BrahMos cruise missile

  • A BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile was successfully test-fired by a Unit of Eastern Command, Indian Army from Car Nicobar Islands as part of joint training by Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, demonstrating high standards of Inter Service Synergy.
  • The Combat missile was test fired on a specially designed target chosen at a range of 270 Kms, thus validating deep penetration capability by the supersonic cruise missile and accurate engagement of targets in depth.
  • The 2.5 tonne air-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 km, and this step will significantly enhance the IAF's combat capability.
  • The BrahMos cruise missile travels at a speed of Mach 2.8, nearly three times that of sound.
  • This missile has by now established itself as a major 'Force Multiplier' in modern day battlefield with impeccable multi role and multi-platform launch capabilities furthering the confidence amongst Indian troops.
  • The missile is a derivative of the Russian anti-ship cruise missile and it is thought to be one of the world’s fastest cruise missiles currently in operational use. The missile was inducted into the Army in 2007.

AKASH-MK-1S Missile

  • DRDO has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile with a strike range of 25 km and capability to carry warhead of 60 kg from Odisha.
  • The supersonic missile has a range up to the altitude of 18,000 metres.
  • The missile uses high-energy solid propellant for the booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for the sustainer phase. The missile system is said to be highly mobile.
  • The medium range multi-target engagement capable missile was developed as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) other than Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles.
  • AKASH MK-1S is an upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker.
  • It is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets.
  • The Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
  • Seeker and guidance performance have been consistently established in both the missions.
  • The missile is guided by a phased array fire control radar called 'Rajendra' which is termed as Battery Level Radar (BLR) with a tracking range of about 60 km.
  • The Akash-MK-1S is capable of striking down enemy fighter jets and drones very effectively and accurately.

Way Ahead

  • DRDO is also reportedly developing two such glide bombs named - Garuthmaa and Garuda.
  • Garuthmaa is the winged version with a range of 100 km while Garuda is the non-winged version with a range of 30 km.
  • DRDO is also developing a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) which can be used to damage enemy airfields during war.
  • It had been bogged in controversies with a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in 2017 stating that 30% of the missiles failed when tested.
  • The Army too had said in 2017 that the missile did not meet its operational requirements due to higher reaction time. India is slowly plugging the holes in its air defence elements by developing the advanced surface-to-air missile named MRSAM — Medium Range Surface to Air Missile in collaboration with Israel.
  • Besides that, five regiments of the renowned S-400 air defence system are under procurement from Russia.
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