GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

The Army version of the next-generation medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAMs), developed jointly with Israel to destroy hostile aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and drones at a range of 70-km, was tested twice from the Chandipur integrated test range off the Odisha coast on 27 March 2022.

What

  1. The first launch was to intercept a medium-altitude target at a long-range and the second was to prove the capability against a low-altitude target at short range.
  2. The missiles intercepted the aerial targets and destroyed them completely, registering direct hits at both the ranges.
  3. The Army’s MRSAM system, which was tested in a deliverable configuration, includes multi-function radar, mobile launcher system and other vehicles.
  4. The weapon system’s performance was validated through the flight data captured by range instruments like radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry deployed by ITR, Chandipur.
  5. While the Navy and IAF have begun inducting their MRSAMs, also called the next-generation Barak-8 systems, the trials for the Army are currently underway.
  6. The three DRDO-IAI projects were inked at an initial cost of over Rs 30,000 crore several years ago.

Flashback

  1. The flight tests of the MRSAM, developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), were conducted as part of the `live firing trials’ against high-speed aerial targets.
  2. It is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 km in severe saturation scenarios.
  3. The missile is powered by an indigenously developed rocket motor and control system for achieving high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase.