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Current Affairs

DRDO conducting flurry of tests

Date: 22 October 2020 Tags: Military

Issue

Over the last one and half months, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted at least 12 tests of missiles or systems for missiles belonging to a vast spectrum of ranges and purposes.

 

Background

These tests have taken place at the time when there is an ongoing stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region.

 

Details

  • A large spectrum of missiles of different purposes, types, ranges is currently being developed primarily for the three armed forces.

  • Some of the systems are at their various stages of development where they undergo development trials, validation trials, user trials etc.

  • Some others have been already inducted and undergoing upgrades or are tested for different parameters.

  • For these tests, particularly ones with long range systems, multiple clearances are required including those from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs and PMO.

  • A Notice to Airmen — NOTAM is issued by the Airport Authority of India for the flight path of projectiles. In many cases, one more armed forces or the Strategic Forces Command are part of the tests. In the case of tests that are conducted off the coast, the Navy and Coast Guard are involved in the process.

  • One key reason behind so many tests being done back to back is the fact many of these tests, scheduled for earlier this year, had to be put on hold due to COVID restrictions, while preparations for them were all in place.

  • The missiles tested during this period are crucial for land attack capability and some for Air and maritime security and testing them is a strong signal.

  • At a time when there is a standoff with China which also has rising interests in the strategically crucial Indian Ocean Region, strategic signalling of this volume cannot happen without a deliberate push from the government.