Missile, Astra - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   What was the target for the surface to air missile AKASH launched on Dec 5, 2017?

a. Handy
b. Banshee
c. Vanshi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Banshee

The Surface to Air Missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee, has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur at 1338 hrs on Dec 5, 2017.

The Radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile.

This missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM).

This is the first Surface to Air Missile with indigenous seeker that has been test fired.

With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile.

AKASH: Know More

  • Akash (Sanskrit for Akasa "Sky") is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems and Bharat Electronics (BEL) for other radars, control centers in India.
  • The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m.
  • It has the capability to "neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles" as well as ballistic missiles.
  • It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

2)   Which Indian nuclear capable land attack cruise missile was successfully tested with a strike range of 1000 km?

a. Agni
b. Nag
c. Nirbhay
d. Babur
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nirbhay

India on Nov 7, 2017 successfully flight-tested its indigenous Nirbhay (the fearless) land-attack cruise missile, which can deliver nuclear warheads to a strike range of 1,000-km, after a string of failures since March 2013.

The development is significant because the armed forces have long been demanding nuclear land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs), with ranges over 1,000-km and versatile enough to be fired from land, air and sea.

Often brandished as India's answer to the famed American Tomahawk missiles, as also an effective counter to Pakistan's Babur LACM, the Nirbhay had been in the making for a decade without much success till now.

The sub-sonic missile, designed to carry a 300-kg nuclear warhead, had failed during its first test in March 2013.

Though the second test in October 2014 was a partial success, the third and fourth tests in October 2015 and December 2016 also flopped, leading to talk that the project may have to be scrapped.

The missile has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 m.

The flight test achieved all the mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial.

The guidance, control and navigation system of the missile is configured around the indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system.

The missile majestically cruised for a total time duration of 50 minutes, achieving the range of 647 km.

The fifth test from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off Odisha coast, was dubbed a "complete success" by DRDO.

A series of successful tests of this ground-launched version of Nirbhay will pave the way for its induction into the armed forces, though its sea-based variant capable of being fired from nuclear-powered submarines will be the real game-changer.

Difference Between Ballistic and Cruise Missiles

  • Ballistic missiles like the Agni follow a parabolic trajectory, leaving and re-entering the earth's atmosphere before hitting their targets.
  • Cruise missiles like Nirbhay, in turn, are designed to fly at low-altitudes, almost hugging the terrain, to evade enemy radars and missile defence systems.
  • Nirbhay has the capability to loiter and cruise at Mach 0.7 at altitudes as low as 100-metre.
  • After an initial blast off with a solid-propellant booster rocket engine to gain speed and altitude, Nirbhay deploys its smallish wings and tail fins in the second-stage to thereafter fly like an unmanned aircraft.
  • It's designed to be highly manoeuvrable with "loitering capabilities" to first identify and then hit the intended target with precision.
BrahMos: Know More
  • The supersonic BrahMos missiles, produced jointly with Russia, have already been inducted into the armed forces.
  • But the BrahMos, which flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8, is meant to carry only conventional warheads and currently has a strike range of only 290-km.
  • At least three tests of the extended range (450-km) BrahMos have been conducted after India joined the 34-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016.
  • India, of course, has come a long way in developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles like the Agni series, which have strike ranges from 700-km to over 5,000-km.

3)   Which country has partnered India in its first private sector missile subsystems manufacturing facility near Hyderabad?

a. Palestine
b. Israel
c. Canada
d. US
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Israel

India’s first private sector missile sub-systems manufacturing facility, a joint venture between the $2.5 billion Kalyani Group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., was inaugurated near Hyderabad on Aug 3.

To begin with, the Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) plant will make anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Spike and the production is expected to begin in a few weeks,

Formed in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Centre and the policy to encourage private sector participation in defence production, the 51:49 joint venture will develop a wide range of advanced capabilities.

These include command control and guidance, electro-optics, remote weapon systems, precision guided munitions and system engineering for system integration. The plant would employ more than 300 engineers and provide indirect employment to 1,000 people.

The localisation content is 90% and most of the vendors are in and around Hyderabad.

KRAS, which aims to be a one-stop solution provider to locally re-design, develop, re-engineer and manufacture various land and airborne products and systems in India, has plans for expansion.

4)   Which country has been issued sanctions by the US over its ballistic missile program in July 2017?

a. Iran
b. Iraq
c. Saudi Arabia
d. North Korea
Answer  Explanation 


The Trump administration on 18th July 2017 unveiled new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program and for contributing to regional tensions.

This comes one day after warning Tehran that it was not following the spirit of its nuclear agreement with world powers.

The US Department of Treasury, in a statement, said it was targeting 16 entities and individuals for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”

Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, the U.S. said.

Others have also ‘orchestrated the theft of US and Western software programs’ sold to Iran’s government, the Treasury Department said.

The US State Department had also designated two Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, according to the Treasury Department.

2015 Nuclear Deal: Know More

  • The 2015 Nuclear Deal was a preliminary framework agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China- plus Germany) and the European Union in July 2015.
  • The deal is also called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement.
  • The deal aims to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
  • Under it, Iran has agreed to give up its most advanced centrifuges and use only its oldest models.
  • But it still allows Iran to continue enrichment in lower quantities for civilian purposes such as power plants. As part of the deal Iran has agreed to reduce its stockpile of uranium by 98%.
  • Under this deal, Iran could keep 300 kg enriched uranium for the next 15 years and it will get rid of extra uranium by shipping it to Russia.

5)   What is QR-SAM?

a. Missile
b. Air gun
c. Tank
d. Ship
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Missile

India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed quick reaction surface-to-air short range missile (QR-SAM).

The sophisticated missile was test fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.

It was the second successful developmental trial of the state-of-the-art missile with an aerial target.

The first test launch of the missile was conducted in June 2017 from the same base.

Features of the missile

  • The QR-SAM has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other establishments.
  • It has been designed to be a quick reaction missile.
  • It is an all-weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing.
  • The missile has a strike range of 25 to 30 km.
  • It can engage multiple targets.

6)   What is India's first all weather tracked chassis QR-SAM missile stand for?

a. Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile
b. Quotient Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile
c. Quicker Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile

India on 4 June 2017 effectively test-fired indigenous first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM).

The QR-SAM was test-fired from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha at around 12:39 p.m. local time.

This test of the QR-SAM was the first test of the indigenously developed sophisticated high-speed missile that is capable of destroying aerial targets, tanks, bunkers and short range missiles.

Official sources said the test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further strengthen its air defence system.

QR-SAM: Know More

  • The QR-SAM was jointly developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited.
  • Reports suggest that this missile system has the potential to engage multiple targets within a range of approximate 30 kilometres, with the configuration of two vehicles for area air defence.
  • It is equipped for quick reaction and the system is all weather enabled, a network-centric one, which is also capable of search-on-the-move.
  • It is a truck-mounted missile and is 360 degree rotatable, electronic-mechanically operated, turret-based launch unit.
  • The missile, which is a highly mobile air defence system, can also deceive enemy radars making it to be detected.
  • It can also be used as an anti-sea skimmer from a ship against low flying attacking missiles.
  • It employs dual thrust propulsion stage using high-energy solid propellant.

7)   North Korea launched a medium long range missile with _____ capabilities on May 14, 2017.

a. Ballistic
b. Nuclear
c. Long Range
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

North Korea indicated the missile it launched over the weekend was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness as Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire.”

This missile launch may mark another big advance toward the North’s goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

This launch tested a new type of missile in Pyongyang’s arsenal.

The test is also an immediate challenge to South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last week who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea.

Pyongyang’s aggressive push to boost its weapons program also makes it one of the Trump administration’s most urgent foreign policy worries, though Washington has struggled to settle on a policy.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency called the missile a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket,” and indicated the “Hwasong-12” was “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead.”

The missile flew for half-an-hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan, the South Korean, Japanese and US militaries said.

The rocket, “newly designed in a Korean-style,” flew 787 kilometers (490 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,310 miles).

North Korea “verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system.”

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile.

8)   US is setting up which missile defence system in South Korea ?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


US missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up a controversial missile defence system have arrived in South Korea, the US and South Korean militaries said on March 7, 2017.

This is a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan.

The plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area defence system, or THAAD, by the end of this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

The system is defensive and not meant to be a threat to Beijing or Moscow.

The US military said in a statement that THAAD is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium range ballistic missiles during the last part of their flights.

Some South Korean liberal presidential candidates have said that the security benefits of having THAAD would be curtailed by worsened relations with neighbours China and Russia.

China's condemnation of South Korean plans to deploy THAAD has triggered protests against South Korean retail giant, Lotte, which agreed to provide one of its golf courses in southern South Korea as the site of THAAD.

The South Korean government also raised worries about a reported ban on Chinese tour groups visiting the country.

North Korea recently fired four ballistic missiles in an apparent protest against ongoing US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The missiles flew about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) on average, three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone

9)   US and which country conducted successful missile tests in Feb 2017?

a. Japan
b. India
c. China
d. South Korea
Answer  Explanation 


The United States and Japan successfully concluded a flight test of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA off the west coast of Hawaii on February 3, the U.S. Missile Defence Agency (MDA) announced recently.

According to the MDA, a next-generation SM-3, launched from a US warship, destroyed an incoming ballistic missile target.

A medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones “detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1D(V) radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile which intercepted the target.”

This was the third flight test and the first intercept test of a SM-3 Block IIA, the most advanced version of the SM-3 “hit-to-kill” interceptor.

The missile interceptor is designed to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats and can be deployed at land-based Aegis Ashore sites and Aegis-equipped warships.

The latest of different variants of the SM-3 features a larger rocket motor and a larger kinetic warhead.

10)   North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into which sea in Feb 2017?

a. Japan Sea
b. South China Sea
c. Red Sea
d. Caspian Sea
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Japan Sea

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early on 12th February 2017.

This is the first such test since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected, and his administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions.

The test was likely to have been of an intermediate-range Musudan-class missile that landed in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea’s military.

The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime that last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The latest test comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe called the launch “absolutely intolerable” and said North Korea must comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

China is North Korea’s main ally but has been frustrated by Pyongyang's repeated provocations,.

It also bristles at pressure from Washington and Seoul to curb the North and its young leader, Kim Jong Un.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump and his aides are likely to weigh a series of possible responses, including new U.S. sanctions to tighten financial control.

There may also be an increase in naval and air assets in and around the Korean peninsula and accelerated installation of new missile defence systems in South Korea, the administration official said.

Trump has pledged a more assertive approach to North Korea but given no clear sign of how his policy would differ from Obama’s so-called strategic patience.

This is part of a show of force in response to the new U.S. administration’s hard-line position against the North.

A South Korean military source said the missile reached an altitude of about 550 km.

While Seoul initially said the missile was probably a medium-range Rodong, it later said the launch was likely of a Musudan, which is designed to fly up to 3,000-4,000 km.

The North attempted eight Musudan launches last year.

Only one of those launches - of a missile that flew 400 km in June - was considered a success by officials and experts in South Korea and the United States.

Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 km from North Korea.

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