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DRDO handed over MRSAM, “Barak-8” to IAF; India’s 1st Emergency Landing Facility of IAF Plane was inaugurated

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inducts

On September 9, 2021, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System/“Barak-8” Missile System to Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.The MRSAM defence system was inducted into the 2204 Squadron.

  • MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed by DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and PPP (Public Private Partnership) in Indian industry.
  • Other firms involved in the project include Israeli firm Rafael, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Larsen & Toubro.

Handing Over Ceremony

The first deliverable FU was handed over by Secretary, Department of Defence R&D (Research and Development)  & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy to the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria in the presence of Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD).

  • During the event, the capabilities of the MRSAM system was demonstrated as part of On-Site Acceptance Test (OSAT).

About MRSAM system:

i.It provides air defence for ground assets against threats like fighter aircraft, UAVs
(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), helicopters, guided and unguided munitions, subsonic & supersonic cruise missiles etc.

ii.It is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kms even in bad weather.The Speed of the System is Mach-2.

iii.The missile is powered by an indigenously developed rocket motor and control system.

iv.The firing unit comprises Missiles, Combat Management System (CMS), Mobile Launcher Systems (MLS), Advanced Long Range Radar, Mobile Power System (MPS), Radar Power System (RPS), Reloader Vehicle (RV) and Field Service Vehicle (FSV).

Key Points:

i.A naval version of the MRSAM is already deployed on a few Indian warships to boost their anti-air warfare capabilities.

ii.There have been separate deals between India and Israel worth around $3 billion over the last 4 years for advanced surface-to-air missile systems for the three services.

Efforts taken by Government to strengthen the security infrastructure:

i.Setting up of Defence Industrials Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

ii.Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board

iii.Notification of two positive indigenisation lists of over 200 items to increase exports and Transfer of Technology (ToT) by DRDO to the private sector.

Barak-8 system consists of three different variants

LRSAM: The first variant is known as Barak-8 AMD or LRSAM. A naval Air Defence System, it was originally designed for the Navy of Israel and currently it is being used by other countries including India.

MRSAM: Medium-range, land-based missile system, the second variant comes with various equipment including a tracking radar, flexible command and control system and mobile launcher systems.

Barak MX: The third variant is equipped with such technology that makes it optimal for both Naval and land missions.

Note – Israel has been among India’s top three arms suppliers during the last five years, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) in March 2021. India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%).

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to jointly enhance the Barak-1 system which was already in service with both countries.

Other Participants:

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of South Western Air Command (SWAC) Air Marshal Sandeep Singh and President & IAI CEO Mr Boaz Levy and other senior civil & military officials were also present on the occasion.

India’s 1st  Emergency Landing Facility on NH for IAF planes inaugurated on NH925 in Barmer, Rajasthan

The Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) inaugurated a 3-km emergency landing strip or Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) at Satta-Gandhav stretch on National Highway 925 in Barmer, Rajasthan for IAF planes.

  • NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used as ELF of IAF aircraft.
  • The ELF strip has been developed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in association with IAF.
  • This inauguration is a part of newly developed two-lane 196.97 km Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section with an outlay of 52 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

Key Points:

i.The mock emergency landing was done by Hercules C-130J plane of the IAF, carrying the two Ministers and CDS Bipin Rawat.

  • Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet, an-32 military transport aircraft and Mi-17v5 helicopter also conducted a mock emergency landing at the ELF.

ii.In October 2017, fighter jets and transport planes of the IAF had conducted mock landings on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. Notably, this Expressway is not a NH and comes under the Uttar Pradesh government.

3 World Records created by India under Construction Sector

i.Construction of 38 kms road per day, the highest in the world.

ii.Construction of 2.5-km 4 lane road in 24 hrs on Mumbai (Maharashtra)-Delhi express highway.

iii.Construction of 26-km single lane road from Bijapur (Chhattisgarh) to Solapur (Maharashtra) in a day.

Recent Related News:

On 3rd June 2021, The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a Rs 323.47 crore worth contract with Mahindra Telephonics Integrated Systems Limited for procurement of 11 Airport Surveillance Radars for the use of the Indian Navy & Indian Coast Guard.

About Ministry of Defence:

Rajnath Singh Constituency– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)