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Explained: Why anti-radiation missile Rudram matters

12th October, 2020 Defence

Context: The Rudram missile is launched from a Sukhoi-30 MKI. This India’s first indigenous anti-radiation missile, Rudram, is developed for the Indian Air Force.

What is an anti-radiation missile?

  • Anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources, which are generally part of their air defence systems.
  • It comprises an inertial navigation system — a computerised mechanism that uses changes in the object’s own position — coupled with GPS, which is satellite-based.
  • It has a “passive homing head” — a system that can detect, classify and engage targets (radio frequency sources in this case) over a wide band of frequencies as programmed.
  • Once the Rudram missile locks on the target, it is capable of striking accurately even if the radiation source switches off in between.
  • It has an operational range of more than 100 km, based on the launch parameters from the fighter jet.

How was Rudram developed?

  • Rudram is an air-to-surface missile, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

How significant are such missiles in aerial warfare?

  • Rudram has been developed for the IAF’s requirement to enhance its Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability.
  • As one of the many aspects of SEAD tactics, anti-radiation missiles are used mainly in the initial part of air conflict to strike at the air defence assets of the enemy
  • Rudram hit the radiation target with pinpoint accuracy.