The Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile is successfully test-fired from Balasore

Some changes suggested by the Army has been incorporated for the missile, being developed by the DRDO, which is a pressing requirement for the Army

The indigenous Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to be tested again in April with some changes suggested by the Army.

“The mission reliability has to be improved and some glitches have to be fixed. The DRDO is already working on it,” a defence source said. The QRSAM with a range of 25-30 kms is a pressing requirement for the Army.

The missile was last tested in September 2022 with six flight-tests conducted from Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur, off Odisha as part of evaluation trials by the Army.

The DRDO had stated then that the tests were conducted in the final deployment configuration consisting of all indigenously-developed sub-systems, including the missile with indigenous Radio Frequency (RF) seeker, mobile launcher, fully automated command and control system, surveillance and multi-function radars.

The QRSAM is designed to operate on the move with search and track capability and fire on short halt, a requirement for the Army’s Air Defence to move along with offensive formations.

The Army has two regiments of the indigenous Akash SAM also at a range of 25 kms and along with the QRSAM falls in the short range SAMs.

A Medium Range SAM is being developed by the DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The maiden launch of MRSAM Army Version was conducted in December 2020. “The MRSAM has entered production. Its induction is on and is ready for deployment,” sources stated.

Air Defence Functions

Air Defence functions in three levels – gun/missile system, medium range and high range. Within this the Air Defence guns are of two types, AD Gun Missile system, AD self propelled guns. The Army is looking for AD guns in both the categories. In the medium segment, it has the indigenous Akash SAM while MRSAM fits in the high range.

Upgrading air defences and fielding a layered comprehensive air defence solution has emerged a priority as a fallout of the war in Ukraine. As reported by The Hindu earlier, long range missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been identified as future threats with calls for a mitigation strategy as part of integrated air defence, as part of lessons for Army’s air defence from the ongoing Ukraine war.