What is varunastra missile?

Varunastra is a heavy weight, electrically-propelled anti-submarine torpedo capable of targeting quiet and stealth submarines, both in deep and shallow waters in an intense countermeasure environment. Developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of the DRDO, the Varunastra torpedo was formally inducted into the Indian Navy in 2016. Varunastra can be fired from all anti-submarine warfare ships.

According to news reports, the Indian Navy will receive a second tranch of the Varunastra in April 2019 — exclusively for use on the Scorpene-class, the INS Sindhughosh (Kilo-class) and the Arihant-class submarines.

Developing the Varunastra took massive leaps forward in key areas of technology. The battery that powers the electric motor, for example, is almost two and a half times more powerful than ones used in current Indian Navy torpedos.

Another huge first is the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) for target homing in case the torpedo is aimed against a submarine using torpedo decoys. The DRDO believes that Varunastra is the first torpedo in the world to use GPS-based targeting.


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Indian Air Force DRDO Netra AWACS Planes To Look Deep Into Pakistan And China

Netra is an Airbome Early Waming and Control (AEWC) aircraft fitted with indigenously developed electronics and hardware. It is useful for surveillance, tracking, identification and classification of airbome and sea surface targets. It is also useful in detecting incoming ballistic missile threats. It played a key role during the Balakot airstrike, carried out by the IAF in February 2019. It provided surveillance and radar coverage to the five Mirage jets that bombed terror launch pads in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. It was designed and developed by scientists of the DRDO, with assistance from the Bengaluru based Centre for Airborne Systems.

China is equipped with better capabilities. As TOI reported earlier, China has over 20 AWACS, including the new KJ-500 ones that can track over 60 aircraft at ranges up to 470km, while Pakistan, on the other hand has four Swedish Saab-2000 AeW&C aircraft and four Chinese-origin ZDK-03 (KJ-200) AWACS.

Keeping this in mind, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in March 2016 cleared building of two Awacs, which will involve mounting indigenous 360-degree coverage AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars on Airbus A-330 wide-body jets.


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Which country has ASAT missile?

India launched its first anti-satellite weapon (ASAT), as part of its Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme, in 2019. The interceptor successfully shot down an out-of service Indian satellite in a low Earth orbit. The test dubbed Mission Shakti, was a joint programme of the DRDO and the Indian Space Research Organisation. With the successful completion of the test, India became only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have this space weapon technology. Anti-satellite weapons, called ASAT systems, are capable of attacking enemy satellites in space by jamming communications or destroying them. ASAT missiles also act as a space deterrent in dissuading rivals from targeting the country's satellite network. Satellites are important for a country's infrastructure as a large number of crucial applications such as navigation and communication networks, banking, stock markets and weather forecasting, are now satellite-based. Destroying satellites could cripple these services. An ASAT system can even target a ground station and stop transmission of information from the satellite attached to it. The system can also direct a manoeuvrable satellite to smash into another satellite!

India has a long standing and rapidly growing space programme. It has expanded rapidly in the last five years. The Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was successfully launched. Thereafter, the government sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians to outer space.

India has also undertaken 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites. India’s space programme is a critical backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure.

The test was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets.


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What is Astra Missile?

Astra is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) class of Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) system designed to be mounted on fighter jets. With a 15-kg high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead, Astra has a range of over 70 km and can fly towards its target at a speed of over 5,555 km/hr. It has an all weather day-and-night capability. The missile is being developed in multiple variants to meet specific requirements.

The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with almost 50 other public and private organisations, which were involved in multiple variants to meet specific requirements.

For the IAF trials, the Astra Mk-I Weapon system integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft was carried out by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.


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India's indigenously designed Arjun Mk-1A clears trials, ready to go into production

Arjun Mk-1A dubbed Hunter Killer, is an all-weather 68-tonne battle tank featuring a 120mm main gun. An improved version of the indigenously developed Arjun main battle tank (MBT). Arjun Mk-1A has successfully completed necessary trials. The Mk 1-A sports a sophisticated gunners main sight integrated with automatic target tracking. This would enable the tank crew to track moving targets automatically. The gun is controlled by a computerised fire control system, giving the tank higher kill capability.

The battle tank will have a crew of four -- commander, gunner, loader and driver. Keeping them out of harm's way is paramount. For this, Arjun Mk-1A comes with a slew of new features.

Balamurugan said Track Width Mine Plough (TWMP) is a significant addition which provides capability for the battle tank to cross minefields with ease as the plough mounted to the front of the vehicle creates a mine-free path by ploughing through mines and throwing them to the sides of the tank.

Another key feature added is a Containerised Ammunition Bin with Individual Shutter (CABIS) that gives crew enhanced protection from inadvertent burning of ammunition stored in the ready round bin.

The hot gases generated due to ammunition burning is vented out by blow-off panels from the roof of the turret, thus saving the crew.


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