In News: United States confirmed that it has supplied some “anti-radiation missiles” to Ukraine.
- The supply has put meat on Russian allegations that an American anti-radar missile, AGM-88 HARM, which is part of NATO’s inventory, has been used in the theatre of conflict.
What is the AGM-88 HARM missile?
- The acronym ‘HARM’ in the AGM-88 HARM air-to-surface missile stands for High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile.
- It is a tactical weapon fired from fighter aircraft, and has the capability to detect and home into radiation emitted by hostile radar stations that have surface-to-air detection capabilities.
- The AGM-88 HARM is 14 metres in length, but only 10 inches in diameter.
- It weighs around 360 kg and carries a fragmentation type warhead that is optimised for radar targets.
- It also has an anti-radar homing seeker broadband RF antenna and receiver, and a solid state digital processor.
- The missile has a range of more than 100 km.
Do the Ukrainians have a platform to use these missiles?
- It would appear that only Western military groups have the required fighter aircraft to use these missiles, and that the AGM-88 HARM cannot be fitted and used on the Russian-origin aircraft that Ukraine has in its fleet.
- Several NATO aircraft in Europe — including the Tornado ECR, F-16CM Block 50, and F/A-18-EA-18G — can fire the AGM-88 HARM missiles.
- There is speculation that the missiles may have been fired by NATO aircraft secretly supporting the Ukraine military in combat roles.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news? (2018)
- An Israeli radar system
- India’s indigenous anti-missile programme
- An American anti-missile system
- A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea.