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Armed Forces Air Defence Capability – QRSAM for Indian Army

Published Dec 24, 2019
Updated Feb 05, 2020

On 23 December the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) stated that the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system was flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at 1145 hrs. The QRSAM was flight-tested with full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid-air, meeting the mission objectives, it said. 

The QRSAM is expected to be inducted in the Indian Army by 2021.
“The entire event was monitored by ground telemetry systems, range radar systems and electro optical tracking system,” the statement said.

The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises fully automated command and control, active array battery surveillance radar, active array battery multifunction radar and launcher. Both the radars are four-walled having 360-degree coverage with search on move and track on move capability. With this mission, the developmental trials of the weapon system have been successfully completed and it is expected to be ready for induction by 2021.
In the first week of August, the DRDO DRDO successfully flight-tested state-of-the-art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles against live aerial targets from ITR, Chandipur

Two missiles, developed by DRDO, were tested against two live targets meeting complete mission objectives of engaging the targets. QRSAM, with many state of the art technologies, engaged the targets at different ranges and altitudes.
The systems have been tested in final configuration with RADAR mounted on a vehicle & missiles on the launcher.

The systems are equipped with indigenously-developed Phased array radar, Inertial Navigation System, Data Link & RF seeker.

The ground-based air defence philosophy can be defined as Full Spectrum Air Defence comprising of a layered defence network across the spectrum of threats. Such a capability will ensure that combat formations and core assets are protected from the modern and advanced aircraft, helicopters, drones and PGMs. Air defence must facilitate freedom of manoeuvre and movement and not restrict forces due to constraints of adversarial air threat.

The AAD philosophy envisages a mix of guns and missiles. The present inventory of guns and missiles is dated, Kvadrat Missile System (SAM-6) in conjunction with the Strela (SAM-7), OSA (SAM-8), Self Propelled Schilka and shoulder-fired Igla missile are all of 1980 vintage.

Holding of AD missiles and gun ammunitions is also a critical facet. The present holdings are low, and with limited shelf life, there is a need for constant reinduction of these.

Indian philosophy of AAD restricts the deployment of shoulder-fired SAMs to the AAD and Special Forces battalions unlike for instance Pakistan Air Force (PAF) which has deployed the same with the infantry battalions.