The IAF should not rely on Israeli Spyder QRSAMs (quick reaction surface-to-air missiles). The Indian Army today successfully conducted six flight tests of an indigenous QRSAM system with a range of 30 km in Chandipur, off Odisha
By Vikas Gupta
Defence News of India, 9 September 22
On the morning of February 27, 2019, Pakistani warplanes crossed the Line of Control (LoC) near Naushera, in what they called Operation Swift Retort – a retaliatory strike against India to avenge the strike surveillance by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a terrorist establishment in Balakot, Pakistan.
In the fog of war that reigned that morning, both sides claimed to have shot down a fighter from the other side. But what remained undisputed was that a single missile, fired at an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter from an Israeli Spyder Rapid Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) system that the IAF had deployed to protect Srinagar Air Base, shot down the helicopter. and killed six passengers and a single civilian on the ground.
The IAF will no longer rely on Israeli QRSAM Spyders. On Thursday, the Indian Army successfully conducted six flight tests of an indigenous QRSAM system at Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
The QRSAM, with a range of 30 kilometers, was designed and developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Today’s test launches were the final part of the Indian Army’s evaluation trials.
They involved firing at high-speed air targets that mimicked incoming aircraft in various profiles. The objective was to assess the QRSAM’s ability to shoot down all kinds of incoming threats – manned aircraft, drones and missiles – in all profiles.
According to a Ministry of Defense (MoD) press release on Thursday, incoming threat profiles included “medium to long range altitude; short range high altitude maneuvering target; weak radar signature with target moving away and crossing; and finally salvo launch with two missiles fired in rapid succession. System performance was also evaluated under daytime and nighttime operating scenarios,” a DRDO statement said.
A MoD press release said: “During these tests, all mission objectives were achieved by establishing extreme weapon system accuracy with state-of-the-art guidance and control algorithms, including a warp warhead.”
“System performance has been confirmed from data captured by a number of range instruments such as telemetry, radar and electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS) deployed by the test range. of DRDO and Indian Army participated in the launches,” the MoD statement said.
The development of the native QRSAM by the DRDO was sanctioned in 2014 with a project cost of Rs 476.43 crore. It was supposed to be completed in July 2017, but that date was pushed back due to ‘technological challenges’, according to the 43rdreport of the Standing Committee on Defense of Parliament.
Thursday’s tests were performed in the final deployment configuration. This means that the missile systems included all the locally developed subsystems that they incorporated. This included the missile with an indigenous radio frequency (RF) seeker, mobile launcher, fully automated command and control system, surveillance and multi-function radars.
The QRSAM system is unique in its ability to operate on the move, seeking out and tracking enemy targets; then shoot a short halt. The missile islaunched from a canisterized launcher that carries six missiles.
The system has fully automated command and control, active array battery surveillance radar, active array battery multifunction radar and launcher. Both radars are four-walled, with 360 degree coverage.
The single-stage solid-propellant missile features a mid-course inertial navigation system with two-way data link and a terminal active seeker that the DRDO developed locally.