Sample Materials for CSAT Paper -1 (G.S.) Pre 2013: “Science & Technology: Defence Research”

Materials From Our Study Notes for CSAT Paper -1 (G.S.) Pre 2013

Subject: Science & Technology
Topic: Defence Research

Ques. 1 : Discuss in
brief India’s defence requirements and aims of Indian defence policy?

India today is faced with an extensive defence and security parameter – 14,103
km. of land borders including 7,000 km of border with countries with which major
territorial disputes still persist (Pakistan and China), a coastline of over
7000 km. and exclusive economic zone of 2.5 million sq. km. to protect. The land
defence parameter spans some of the world’s most difficult terrain including the
mighty Himalayas. Moreover, presence of an ever-hostile neighbour and the menace
of terrorism require a comprehensive approach to security. In this scenario, the
security challenges confronting the country need to be revamped to a desired
level of military preparedness to deter both external attacks and internal
extremism, so that peace, stability and growth can be sustained.

Application of science and technology
plays a vital role in determining the defence capabilities of a country which is
critical in keeping the morale of the armed forces. India’s defence policy aims
at promoting and sustaining durable peace in the subcontinent, while at the same
time equipping the defence forces adequately to safeguard against any
aggression. Its long term military and strategic aims have been defined as-

(i) Keeping the war machine i.e. the armed
forces well trained and ready to wage war at short notice.
(ii) Having a wide industrial base and
infrastructure to support any long term . insurgency or war when it is thrust
upon us.
(iii) Avoidance of conflict by acquisition
of-deterrents like nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (missiles etc.).

By its very nature and because of its sensitivity, defence is an area where it
is wise to develop self-reliance. Modern defence systems are necessarily linked
to scientific management. S&T builds and develops the defence hardware of a
country and war and defence have become increasingly electronically controlled.
In this scenario, India has also developed an impressive defence infrastructure,
largely emphasising on technological advancement aimed at achievement of

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Ques. 2 : Briefly discuss
the role of DRDO in the national defence?

Ans. Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) was formed in 1958 by amalgamating Defence
Science Organisation and some other technical development establishments. A
separate –department of Defence Research and Development was formed in 1980
which now administers DRDO and its 50 laboratories and establishments. The
department of defence research and development formulates and executes plans for
scientific research, design and development in the fields of relevance to
national security, leading to the induction of new weapons, delivery systems,
platform and other equipments required by the armed forces. It also functions as
the nodal agency for the execution of major development programmes of relevance
to defence through integration of research, development, testing and production
facilities with the national scientific institutions, public sector undertakings
and other agencies. It is involved in design and development of activities in a
variety of disciplines such as aeronautics, armament, combat vehicles, rockets
and missiles, naval technology, electronics and instrumentation, radars and
electronic warfare, communication, robotics, artificial intelligence etc. It
also plays an important role in other defence related as well as application
oriented fields such as terrain research, life sciences (including high altitude
agriculture, high altitude physiology etc.), nuclear medicine, avalanche
forecast and control, food technology etc.

The research efforts of DRDO have brought
significant amount of success in various key projects. Its recent achievements
include the successful flights testing of various missile systems under the
Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. A sophisticated low level
warning radar INDRA has been successfully developed and inducted into the
services. An indigenously designed, fully automated factory was set up the DRDO
to manufacture- Fin-Stabilised Armour. Piercing Discarded Sabot (FSAPDS). The
other notable achievements of DRDO have been – multi barrel rocket launch system
PINAKA; main battle tank ARJUN; brick layer tank KARTIK; field guns Mk-I and
Mk-II; flight stimulator for aircraft; air launched, rocket powered missile
targets; field artillery radar; communication systems; night vision devices; new
family of light weight Indian Small arms (INSAS); cluster weapon system;
illuminating ammunition for enhancing night fighting capabilities; advanced
sonars; rockets for ship defence etc.

In addition, several high technology
projects which include light combat aircraft (LCA); gas turbine engine;
pilotless target aircraft (PTA) are at various stages of development with DROO.
The PTA LAKSHYA, a re-usable aerial target system remotely operated from ground
is under limited serial production and induction. The first technology
demonstration flight of the LCA was flight tested in 2001. The other major
programmes under progress in, the current year are KAVERI engine for the LCA,
various missiles under the IGMDP, multi barrel rocker system PINAKA and EW
systems for the Army and Navy. The successful completion of these would greatly
contribute towards self-reliance in critical areas of defence technologies.

Development of sea mines for use against
submarines and ships is in advanced stages. Upgraded version of the mine for
underwater work by naval divers and frogmen has been developed and has undergone
trials by the Navy. Composite sonar and tactical weapon control system
PANCHENDRIYA for navy and a marine acoustic research ship SAGARDHWANI, which is
indigenously designed and built and is one of the most sophisticated research
ships have also been developed.

The multi-span bridging system SARVATRA
has been accepted for induction in the service after mobility, stability and
manoeuvrability of the vehicle was proved.

A defence technology park is being set up
in Bangalore to facilitate transfer of technologies by DRDO labs to the
production undertakings. This will result in indigenous production of high tech
items needed by the armed forces.

Research in health is being done in the areas of radio-immuniassay, radio-
biology and bioengin-eering at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Applied
Sciences (INMAS), while the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences
carries out studies on high altitude acclimatisation and devises methods for
increased fighting efficiency, safety and comfort of the arrned forces.

The defence food laboratory has developed
products, processes, preservatives and packaging material so that suitable
Indian packaged food can be provided to the armed forces in difficult terrain.

Ques. 3 : Give a brief
description of India’s Missile development programme?

Ans. India’s Missile development
programme called Integrated Guided-Misslle Development Programme (IGMDP) was
launched in 1983. It was envisaged as ambitions plan to take up simultaneously
the design and development of five missiles which would provide the nation a
Comprehensive Missile-based Umbrella within 10 years. India desired
comprehensive and integrated capabilities in missile systems because on one hand
they have advantage of delivering higher payload (warheads) beyond the range of
combat aircrafts, on other hand they are one-way devices and there are no
dangers or costs associated with loss of a combat aircrafts. Moreover with their
high speed, their interruption is also more difficult than combat aircrafts.

The programme has following missile
systems to be designed, developed and operationalised,

1. Tactical, short range surface to
surface (SSM) Missile – Prithvi.
2. Intermediate range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) – Agni
3. Short range Surface-to-Air (SAM) Missile – Trishul
4. Medium range SAM – Akash
5. Anti-Tank Guided Missile – NAG

Ques. 4 : Discuss in
brief the salient features of Prithvi Missile?




1. Surface to surface Missile.
2. A tactical battlefield i.e. its role is destroy critical enemy targets over a
short range of up to 250 km.
3. Can carry a 500 kg payload up to 250 km or 1000 kg payload up to 150 km.
4. Can carry both conventional or nuclear warhead.
5. A vehicle based Missile, capable of being towed to all kinds of terrains, has
a short reaction time.
6. Has strap down inertial Navigation and is guided and controlled all the way
to its target by on-board computer. It is extremely accurate.
7. Difficult to spot it or to trace its trajectory and target because of its
supersonic speed and limited flight time.

The Prithvi Missile comes in four

  • Prithvi-l is a battlefield support
    system for the army (range 150 km, 1000 kg payload). It is a single stage, dual
    engine, liquid fuel, road-mobile, short-range surface-to-surface missile.
  • Prithvi-II is dedicated to the Indian
    Air Force (range 250 km, 500-750 kg payload). It is a single stage, dual engine,
    liquid fuel, road-mobile, short-range surface-to-surface missile. DRDO has
    decided to increase the payload capability of the SS-250/Prithvi-1I variant to
    1000 kg by using boosted liquid propellant to generate higher thrust-to-weight
  • Prithvi-III is a solid fuelled version
    with a 350 km range and a 1000 kg payload. It is a two stage solid fuel
    road-mobile short-range surface-to-surface missile Sagarika and Prithvi-III are
    two different acronyms for the same missile. A related program, known as Project
    K-15 is in development and will enable the missile to be launched from a
    submerged submarine.
  • Dhanush (in Sanskrit/Hindi means Bow) is
    a system consisting of a stabilisation platform (Bow) and the Missile (Arrow).
    The system can fire either the SS-250 or the SS-350 variants. There may likely
    be certain customisations in missile configuration to certify it for sea

Ques. 5 : Briefly discuss
the features and significanc of Agni Missile?




  1. Surface to surface Missile.
  2. An Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). It is a Missile having a
    re-entry capability i.e., it propels itself out of the earth atmosphere and then
    re-enters and falls to the surface of the earth. It takes elliptical trajectory
    to cover long distances. It is also called strategic Missile as it can hit
    long-range targets.
  3. Can carry payload of 500-1000 kg upto a range of 1000 2500 km.
  4. Can carry both conventional and nuclear warhead and thus both battlefield
    weapon and a deterrent.
  5. It can be launched from land platform and mobile platform.
  6. It was presented as technology demonstrator for re-entry technology.


  1. Agni-1 having range of about 700 km
    (and thus bridging the gap between Prithvi and Agni-II) has been successfully
    flight tested in July-August. 2004 and along with Agni-II have been accepted for
    induction in armed forces.

  2. Agni-II with range of 2500 km, and
    operational capability of delivery of one tonne payload, on its way to be fully
    inducted into army. The Army is raising an ‘Agni Missile Group’ for this

Significance of Agni

The success of Agni-1 and Agni-II
represents a quantum leap in India’s strategic capability. Only five other
countries US, Russia, France, China and Israel have IRBM technology. Agni
missile system is a cornerstone of IGDMP. It has put India’s credible minimum
nuclear deterrence (CMND) on firm footing. The Agni and its variants with proven
re-entry, technology and maneuverability had added punch to India’s second
strike capability which is key pillar of its no first use poling. Agni was seen
as political missile by the West and was interpreted as an attempt by India to
move into ranks of World military powers.

There is intense high technology work
going on at the Defence Research and Development laboratory (DRDL), the Advanced
Systems Laboratory (ASL), and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), all located on
DROO Campus. The scientists at the ASL are furiously working on Agni-V, which
will have a range of 5,000 km. Its design has been completed and development
work is under way. The ASL is also preparing for a Night Trial of Agni-III A.
The missile will be an advanced version of Agni-II, which has a range of more
than 2,500 km.

Ques. 6 : Give a brief
description of Trishul?




  1. It is Surface-to-Air (SAM) Missile.
  2. It is an air defence weapon.
  3. Has a short range of up to 9 km.
  4. It has radar guided surveillance, tracking and guidance mechanism for
    accurate interception of targets.
  5. It can be used by Army, Navy or Air Force to track, and target enemy air
    crafts, sea-skimming missiles or low flying targets respectively.


Trishul and Akash have been delayed on
account of snags in guidance and propulsion technologies.

During 2003-2004 seven consecutive successful flight tests were conducted, amply
demonstrating accuracy of the guidance system.

The production version of launcher and
radar vehicle ‘Trishul Ground Electronics and Radar Vehicle’ (TGERV) for Air
Force has been realised. The TGERV has been upgraded and maiden flights using
this version have been successfully carried out. The range of Trishul has been
enhanced for IAF requirements.

Due to-delays in Trishul programme, Navy is exploring alternative anti-missile
system for its warships. It is considering ‘BARAK’ anti-missile system of

Ques. 7 : Briefly discuss
the features of Akash Missile?




  1. It is SAM.
  2. It is an multi-target air defence weapon that can target 4-5 enemy targets at
    a time.
  3. It has range of 25 km.
  4. It uses a command guidance from ground radar system and on-board precision
    homing system.
  5. It is integrated with indigenously produced phased array radar called Rajendra.
  6. It will be first Indian Missile System to use scramjet principle for its
    propulsion i.e. using atmospheric air as one of combustion agents.

The Akash uses an integral ramjet rocket
propulsion system to give a low- volume, low-weight (700 kg launch weight)
missile configuration, and has a low reaction time from detection to missile
launch of 15 seconds. This allows the missile to carry a heavier warhead (60
kg). The solid-propellant booster accelerates .the missile in 4.5 seconds to
Mach 1.5, which is then jettisoned and the ramjet motor is then ignited for 30
second to Mach 2.8 – 3.5 at 20g. Akash has a range of 27 km, with an effective
ceiling of 15 km. It is capable of detecting & destroying aircraft flying at
tree-top height. Development is on to increase speed, maximum altitude and
range-to 60 km. A dual model radar/infra-red seeker is also being developed as
is a longer range version of the Rajendra radar, to give earlier warning and
tracking of ballistic missile targets.

Rajendra is 3D phased-array
surveillance/engagement radar developed by the Electronic Research & Development
Establishment (ERDE). Also mounted on a modified BMP-1 chassis, like the Akash,
the radar is capable of tracking 64 targets, engage 4 simultaneously and guide
up to 12 missiles. The system is reportedly similar to the 30N6 (Flap-Lid B)
engagement radar. Has air surveillance, multiple target tracking and multiple
missile guidance functions via multi-channel monopulse. Features fully digital”,
signal processing system \ with adaptive moving target indicator, coherent
signal process, and variable pulse repetition frequency.


So far 40 full flights test of Akash have
been conducted. It showed consistency during entire flight and travel to the far
boundary as demanded by Army and airforce. Consistent performance of propulsion,
control and guidance systems has been demonstrated in last ten consecutive

Akash and Patriot Missile

It is believed that Akash Missile has
better features than its US counterpart called. Patriot. Akash is totally
mobile, can be launched from battle tank. It has thrust during entire flight –
propulsion will work till it hits the target. The patriot has thrust only for 12
seconds. But Akash has thrust for 35 seconds, it is lighter and more effective.

Ques. 8 : Give a brief
description of Nag?




  1. It is an anti-tank missile.
  2. It has range of 4-km.
  3. It has fire and forgets capability, the target is sighted, it automatically
    aligns itself to the target.
  4. It uses infrared imaging system for having on the target.
  5. Launched from a tracked carrier or from a helicopter. It is capable of
    piercing the most sophisticated of tank armours:


  1. There have been 44 test launches to conclusively establish performance of
    the target acquisition system.
  2. Development of prototype ALH-Nag launcher has been completed.

Ques. 9 : Briefly discuss
the features and advantages of BRAHMOS?



It is world’s best supersonic cruise
missile, which has been developed by joint efforts of Indian and Russian
Scientists. This missile is the leader in the family of cruise missiles and is
unique to fly at speed of 2.8 times the speed of sound. It anti-ship missile
with 300 km. range and 300 kg payloads.

Cruise Missile: It is one that flies close
to the earth surface unlike ballistic missile which travels outside atmosphere
and raises it height and speed to supersonic levels as it approaches the target.

BRAHMOS can be launched from submarine,
ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL. The missile is
launched from a Transport-Launch Canister (TLC), which also acts as storage and
transportation container.

Primarily BRAHMOS is an anti-ship missile.
It has the capability to engage land based targets also. The missile can be
launched either in vertical or inclined position and will cover 360 degrees.

The BRAHMOS missile has identical
configuration for land, sea and sub sea platforms. The air-launched version has
a smaller booster and additional tail fins for stability during launch.


  1. High Supersonic Velocity
  2. Long flight range
  3. Varieties of flight trajectories
  4.  “Fire & Forget” principle
  5. Universal for multiple platforms
  6. Low Radar Signature
  7. Simplicity of technical operations
  8. High lethal power
  9. Higher effectiveness


(1) Long flight range with supersonic speed all through the flight.
(2) Shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker
(3) Varieties of flight trajectories.
(4) ‘Fire and forget’ principle of operation.
(5) Higher destructive capability aided by the large kinetic energy of impact.

(6) Higher effectiveness against ship defences.
(7) Canister for transportation, storage and launch

Superiority of the BRAHMOS Supersonic
Anti-ship Missile over a Subsonic Long Range Anti-ship Missile
In Velocity by 3 times
In flight range by 2.5-3 times
In Seeker 3-4 times

Ques. 10 : Discuss in
brief about ‘Astra’?



1. It air-to-air missile.
2. It is beyond visual range (BVR) class that would be capable of beating radar
eyes and hitting enemy targets. Located up to range of 80km.
3. The missile can be launched after receiving a signal from the far away target
and, it will seek and home is, using a complex-range of on-board manoeuvres
based on radio frequency.
4. It would be interfaced with LCA.

Project Progress
The Union Government has cleared the futuristic project, which will be
guided and led by Hyderabad based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).

It is Rs.1,000 crore National project.
Each Astra Missile would cost Rs. 3-5 crore.
It would be high-end tactical missile. Several other PSU’s like HAL, ECIL and
some private companies are involved in this project.

Project Astra signals a continuem in
two-decade old Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. The Indian
Missile Programme is now confident of delivering a quality missile to the
stringent requirements of the user and there was no need to look for imports.
Indigenous missile are cheaper, easily maintained, can be technologically

Encouraged by technical and systems
integration expertise, the laboratory is confident that missile will be
developed in six years.

Test Your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements:

  1. Defence Research and Developmnt organisation (DRDO) was
    formed in 1952.
  2. The Department of Defence Research and Development was
    formed in 1980.

Which of the above statements is / are correct ?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 & 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
2. Consider the following statements:

  1. PANCHENDRIYA is a composite sonar and tactical weapon
    control system for navy.
  2. SAGARDHWANI is a marine acoustic research ship.

Which of the above statements is / are correct

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 & 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


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Answer of Question 1: B

Answer of Question 1: C

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