QR-SAM launch by India: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has congratulated the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful launch of the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QR-SAM). The Defence Minister has said that the successful launch of the missile has added to the defence capabilities of India. The induction of the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile into the armed forces will greatly boost the capabilities of the unit. The air defence arm of the army suffers obsolescence rate of 97 percent as per a letter which was written to the then Army Chief General VK Singh to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2012, according to Indian Express.
Five years after the report was written, the situation has not changed dramatically. Although the Air Force is responsible for safeguarding the airspace of the country, the army’s air defence corps is responsible for providing air defence for important installations and for providing air defence to the army’s offensive formations during times of war.
Congratulations to DRDO for successfully test firing Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile. This will add to India’s defence capabilities.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) July 3, 2017
Currently, the air defence arm of the army provides terminal air defence with the L-70 40 mm guns of Swedish origin and the ZU-23 twin barreled anti-aircraft guns, which are of Soviet origin. The L-70 gun is of 1960s vintage and the ZU-23 is of 1970’s vintage. Both these weapon systems had reached obsolescence by the turn of the century, as per an Indian Express report.
The DRDO had also successfully test fired the QR-SAM in early June from the launchpad on Kalam Island, in Odisha, as per an ANI report. The QR-SAM is an all-weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing and has a strike range of 20 to 30 kms, as per PTI.