EXO-ATMOSPHERIC MISSILES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     16th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, Israel announced that its air-defense system, utilizing exo-atmospheric interceptors, successfully neutralized '99% of missiles' launched by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Exo-Atmospheric Missiles

  • About: It also known as anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs), play a crucial role in defense systems worldwide.
  • Surface-to-Air Design: These missiles are specifically engineered as surface-to-air weapons tailored to intercept incoming ballistic missiles.
  • Primary function: To intercept and destroy ballistic threats during either the mid-course or terminal phase of their trajectory.
  • Target Specificity: While capable of countering various types of ballistic missiles, they are particularly designed to combat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • Operation Beyond Earth's Atmosphere: Exo-atmospheric interceptors operate beyond the Earth's atmosphere, where they engage incoming threats.
  • Advanced Sensor Technology: Equipped with infrared sensors and radar systems, these missiles can detect and track ballistic threats efficiently.
  • Hypersonic Speed and Guidance: Traveling at hypersonic speeds, they utilize sophisticated guidance systems to accurately maneuver and intercept high-speed targets.
  • Solid Rocket Boosters: These missiles employ a three-stage solid rocket booster to propel themselves out of Earth's atmosphere at near-hypersonic velocities.
  • Sophisticated Target Tracking: Upon reaching space, ABMs activate their sensors to identify and track incoming threats, employing inbuilt rocket motors for precise navigation towards their targets.
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