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CALM Systems

  • 13 Apr 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the Indian Army has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the Canister Launched Anti-Armour Loiter Ammunition (CALM) System of its mechanised forces.

What exactly is a CALM System?

  • The CALM System is a pre-loaded canister with loiter ammunition or a drone. Loiter munitions are a mix of a surface-to-surface missile and a drone.
  • Once fired it can remain aloft for a period of time over the area of operation, and when a target is sighted it can be guided down to destroy the target with the explosive payload that it carries.
  • Usually, loiter ammunition carry a camera which is nose-mounted and which can be used by the operator to see the area of operation and choose targets.
  • These munitions also have variants which can be recovered and reused in case they are not used for any strike.
  • The top down attack capability of the loiter ammunition gives it a big advantage over targets such as tanks which are vulnerable to any attack on the top where the armour protection is weak.
    • Loiter munitions are smaller, cheaper and less complex systems than combat or armed drones.

Has it been Used by Any Country?

  • The CALM System had been very effectively used in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in 2021 where the Azerbaijan forces made extensive use of Israeli systems to wreak havoc on Armenian tanks, radar systems, communication hubs and other military targets.
  • The Russian military is also using their ZALA KYB loiter ammunition in Ukraine while some reports say that the US has also provided Ukraine with its Switchblade loiter munitions that could target Russian armour 10 km away.

Where will the Army use CALM Systems?

  • The CALM Systems will be used in the plains and deserts of the Western parts of the country as well as the Northern high altitude areas of heights up to 5,000 metres.
  • It will be employed by the Mechanised Infantry units of the Army for surveillance of beyond line of sight targets by day and night in real time and beyond visual range engagement of enemy armoured fighting vehicles and other ground based weapon platforms over extended ranges.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Questions

Q. What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news? (2018)

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c) An American anti-missile system

(d) A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea.

Ans: (c)

Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) is an American anti-missile system designed to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their “terminal” phase of flight when they are falling towards the target.

Source: IE

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