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Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Internal Security Challenges

Why in news?

  • India’s first anti-radiation missile ‘Rudram’ will be ready for induction into service by 2022 and will boost the Indian Air Force’s capabilities to knock out enemy radars and surveillance systems.
  • The indigenous missile, being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the IAF, was tested for the first time in the anti-radiation mode from a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet.

Rudram Missile

  • The Rudram-1 (previously referred as DRDO Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM)) is an air-to-surface anti-radiation missile in development by Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • It is primarily meant for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), that can be launched from a range of altitudes with large standoff distance for destroying enemy surveillance radars, tracking and communication systems.
  • It is first anti-radiation missile to be developed in India and will be jointly produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) after trials and introduction.

What is an anti-radiation missile?

  • Anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources, which are generally part of their air defence systems.
  • Such a missile’s navigation mechanism comprises an inertial navigation system — a computerised mechanism that uses changes in the object’s own position — coupled with GPS, which is satellite-based.
  • For guidance, it has a “passive homing head” — a system that can detect, classify and engage targets (radio frequency sources in this case) over a wide band of frequencies as programmed.
  • Officials said once the Rudram missile locks on the target, it is capable of striking accurately even if the radiation source switches off in between.

How significant are such missiles in aerial warfare?

  • Rudram has been developed for the IAF’s requirement to enhance its Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability.
  • As one of the many aspects of SEAD tactics, anti-radiation missiles are used mainly in the initial part of air conflict to strike at the air defence assets of the enemy, and also in later parts, leading to higher survivability to a country’s own aircraft.
  • Neutralising or disrupting the operations of the adversary’s early warning radars, command and control systems, surveillance systems that use radio frequencies and give inputs for anti-aircraft weaponry, can be very crucial.
  • Scientists said modern-day warfare is more and more network-centric, which means it comprises elaborate detection, surveillance and communication systems that are integrated with the weapons systems.

-Source: Hindustan Times

December 2023