CRYSTAL MAZE 2 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     25th April 2024        
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Context: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully carried out a test firing of a new version of an air-launched medium-range ballistic missile that is capable of hitting targets at a distance exceeding 250 km.

Crystal Maze 2

  • About: Also known as ROCKS, is an air-launched medium-range ballistic missile developed in Israel.
  • Purpose: The missile is designed to target high-value stationary and relocatable assets, including long-range radars and air defense systems of potential adversaries.
  • Features: Distinguished from its predecessor, Crystal Maze 1, Crystal Maze 2 offers extended stand-off range capabilities as an air-to-surface missile.
  • Range and Warhead Options: With a range of over 250 kilometers, it can be equipped with either a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, making it capable of destroying both above-ground and well-protected underground targets.
  • Effectiveness in GPS-Denied Environments: Crystal Maze 2 is specifically effective in GPS-denied environments, making it versatile in various operational scenarios.
  • Deployment Strategy: The deployment strategy involves releasing the missile well outside the surface-to-air defended area, followed by a high-velocity trajectory to minimize risks to aircraft and missiles.

Ballistic Missile (BM)

  • About: It is a projectile weapon designed to deliver warheads over long distances by following a ballistic trajectory.
  • Operation: Ballistic missiles primarily utilize the force of gravity and internal guidance systems to navigate towards their target.
  • Characteristics: Unlike traditional powered flight, ballistic missiles are powered only during initial launch stages, with most of their flight occurring in an unpowered state.
  • Classification by Range: Short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) typically operate within the Earth's atmosphere, while medium to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can traverse into space.
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