Missiles Current Affairs - 2019

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India’s Nex-Gen Hypersonic Missiles: DRDO begins manufacturing

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) begins manufacturing of hypersonic missiles. These missiles are five times faster than the speed of sound. DRDO is set to operate a wind tunnel to test and fine tune the technology

Significance

There is a race across the globe to possess hypersonic weapons technology. The US, Russia and China have already been testing the technology to improve their strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen their front-line combat units. China had demonstrated that it has the technology. Other countries like US and Russia have been silent about it.

Hypersonic Weapons

The Hypersonic weapons are capable of carrying conventional and nuclear payloads at extreme speeds. This technology increases the survival against modern ballistic missile defence system. Though, the existing ballistic missile systems deliver loads at extremely high speeds, the hypersonic glided vehicles make tracking and interception impossible.

Agni 5 Missile Test Fired off Odisha Coast

India successfully test fired its indigenously developed Agni- 5 missile on 3rd June. The missile was launched from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. Agni missile is a surface to surface missile and is launched with the help of mobile launcher of the Integrated Test Range at Dr Abdul Kalam Island formerly known as Wheeler Island. This is the 6th test fire of the state-of-the-art Agni 5 missile.

The trial was a great success. The missile hit its target with great accuracy after covering its full distance. The entire flight was monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations.

Key Facts: Agni-5 Missile

Agni 5 ballistic missile is the brainchild of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is the most advanced in the series.

  • Agni-5 is a nuclear capable long range missile with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. The three stage, 17- meter tall, two-meter wide Agni-5 missile has a range of Agni-5 missile is 5000 km. It can carry a nuclear warhead weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.
  • Agni-5 uses Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System RINS. It is the most modern and gives very high accuracy. The Micro Navigation System or MINS helped the missile reach its target with precision.
  • Other features of Agni- 5 missile include, a high speed on- board computer, fault tolerant software and a robust reliable bus. The advanced computer and the inertial navigation system are the highlights of the missile as they aid in precision of the path.

The missile is highly reliable, has longer shelf life and enhanced mobility compared to the other versions. Agni-1 has a range of 700 km, Agni-2 with a 2000 km range, Agni-3 and 4 have a range of 2500 km to 3500km.