What is QRSAM System (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile System)?

Recently, there was news about the successful testing of missiles with the QRSAM system. The first such test was conducted on 13th November 2020 and while the second was being conducted on 17th November 2020. This QRSAM weapon system was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian Army. This weapon system can be configured on highly mobile platforms and it will also help to ground moving patrolling of the Indian army by protecting them from Air attacks.

QRSAM System: Purely Indigenous Technology

The quick reaction surface to air missile (QRSAM) system is a short-range missile system that works from the surface to air to protect moving armored units from any kind of aerial attack. QRSAM missile technology can be seen as the product of the vision of the Prime Minister’s office of the Make in India concept as this technology is completely indigenous and developed in India without any external support.

Make in India Logo
Make in India Logo

QRSAM missile system was developed by our DRDO along with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited. Earlier, it was planned that country will buy this system from the global market but the poor response from international vendors leads to the re-tendering process. This kind of response had triggered DRDO and they decided to develop this kind of missile system for the Indian Army so that India doesn’t require to face such kind of poor response from international vendors.

Features of QRSAM System

Not just attacking any aerial target is the part of this QRSAM system, there are many supportive features are present in the QRSAM system that enhances the quality of attack and makes us say proudly that it is our own developed system. Here are the important features of this QRSAM system:

  • QRSAM is a surface-air missile system.
  • This system has a range of 25-30km.
  • It is equipped with electronic counter-measures that protect it against jamming by aircraft radars.
  • This system uses soli-propellent fuel.
  • This system is also equipped with an inertial navigation system with a 2-way data link.
  • This system is capable of searching and tracking the target while moving
  • Very compact system and can be configured on any mobile platform and it has 360 degrees of coverage.

Demand for QRSAM System

In 2007, India was seeking to replace their old and obsolete missile system with a new one and for that purpose, the Indian Army decided to initiate the global acquisition of quick reaction surface to air missile technology through the Ministry of Defence. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for our armed forces as no international vendors had turned up or shown interest in our demand. This was clearly reflected in their response to the tendering process for this system.

As the tendering process was continued to stretch further, DRDO decided to develop our own QRSAM system so that we don’t have to depend on these international vendors. In 2014, DRDO was sanctioned with a project to develop this indigenous technology. DRDO started the development of this technology along with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited who were also involved in the manufacturing and developmental process as well. After observing a fruitful development in this project, the Indian Army dropped the plan of global acquisition of the QRSAM system in 2017.

QRSAM’s Trials: Pre-Development and Post Development

DRDO initiated trials of this newly developed technology in 2017. The first test was being conducted on 4th June 2017. This test was followed by six more test fires in its development stage for the next two years. After the 7th test which was conducted on 23rd December 2019, DRDO declared that the development of QRSAM technology was completed. Now after successful development, DRDO had initiated the post-development series test firing of these missiles.

QRSAM System testing on 17 November 2020| Picture Credit: https://pib.gov.in/
QRSAM System testing on 17 November 2020| Picture Credit: https://pib.gov.in/

The first successful test of this series was being conducted on 13th November 2020. The first test was done for achieving the milestone of Direct hit to the target. In another test was conducted on 17th November 2020 for proving the performance parameters of the warhead of the system. Both this test was conducted against the High-performance et Unmanned Aerial Target named as Banshee, which simulated an aircraft.

Recent Developments

Yesterday, DRDO conducted a second successful flight test of the QRSAM missile system around 15:42 hours from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur (Coastal Odisha). In the second test, QRSAM successfully tracked and accurately neutralize its target. This second test was once again conducted against Banshee (Unmanned Aerial Target).

All of the objective related to this second test-fire was successfully met. The launch test was conducted in the presence of Indian Army officials. During the test fire, many instruments were installed to track and capture all data related to flight to verify the performance of the missile. Later Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and its complete teams for the second successful test of the QRSAM System.  Also, the Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO, Dr. G Satheesh Reddy congratulated all the teams involved in this project.

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