IN AN important step towards its induction, the indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) achieved a direct hit on to a pilotless target aircraft at medium range and altitude in a test conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday.
The launch on Friday took place from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, off Odisha coast around 3.30 pm. It achieved a direct hit on a Banshee pilotless target aircraft at medium range and altitude, DRDO said. During the test, radars tracked the pilotless target from the farthest range and the missile was launched when target was within kill zone, achieving direct hit.
Defence Research and Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat in Hyderabad; Electronic and Radar Development Establishment, Bangalore; Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), Pune; Instruments Research and Development Establishment, Dehradun; and Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, took part in the test. The DRDO said the test was a “major milestone” achieved by the QRSAM.
Officials said the weapons system elements have been manufactured through public sector undertakings — Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bharat Dynamics Ltd and private player L&T. They added that the missile system was fully indigenous with active radio frequency seekers, electro-mechanical actuation systems sourced from various industries.
The QRSAM, like many modern missiles, is a canister-based system, which means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments. In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus along with making its transport and storage easier, the shelf life of weapons also improves significantly.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and DRDO Chairperson Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated scientists after the test. Friday’s trial was in continuation of a series of missile tests conducted by DRDO over the past two months.
The QRSAM is a short range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, primarily designed and developed by DRDO to provide a protective shield to moving armoured columns of the Army from enemy aerial attacks. The entire weapon system has been configured on a mobile and manoeuvrable platform and is capable of providing air defence on the move. It has been designed for induction into the Army and has a range of 25 to 30 km.
The QRSAM weapon ensemble, which functions on the move, consists of a fully automated command and control system, two radars — Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar — and one launcher. Both radars have a 360-degree coverage with “search on move” and “track on move” capabilities. The system is compact, uses a single stage solid propelled missile and has a mid-course inertial navigation system with two-way data link and terminal active seeker developed indigenously by DRDO.
After prior successful tests in December 2019, DRDO said QRSAM’s developmental trials were completed with that test and the weapon system would be ready for induction by 2021.