India has test-fired its state-of-the-art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM). The new air defense system has been tested amid the recent flare-up between New Delhi and Islamabad over Kashmir.
The all-weather and all-terrain missile mounted on a truck successfully hit its targets during the tests conducted on Sunday at a range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The Indian defense minister has shared photos and a video of the missile launch on his Twitter account.
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) August 4, 2019
The new air defense system boasts an operational range of 25-30 kilometers. It is also equipped with anti-jamming devices allowing it to penetrate the enemy’s defenses. The missile already underwent a series of trials in 2017 and in February 2019.
On Sunday, two missiles were used to hit the targets flying at different altitudes under different conditions, Indian media reported citing military sources, who hailed the system’s high maneuverability.
The tests come as India and Pakistan are seemingly once again engaged in a bitter row over the disputed Kashmir region.
In the early hours of Sunday, the two nations’ forces exchanged gunfire in a border skirmish in Kashmir’s remote Poonch district, local media reported without providing any information about the casualties.
On Saturday, India said it thwarted an “infiltration” attempt by Pakistani militants earlier this week. Kashmir also saw several instances of cross-border shelling in recent days.
However, the claim was strongly denied in a statement by the Pakistani military.
New Delhi deployed a total of 35,000 soldiers to Kashmir over two weeks, in addition to the forces already stationed in the region.
The bitter feud between the two neighbors caught the eye of US President Donald Trump, who promptly offered himself as a mediator to resolve the conflict.
His offer was, however, turned down by New Delhi, which said it does not need any outside interference in the “bilateral” issue.
The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the contrary, welcomed the idea by saying “this is the time to do so” in order to prevent further escalation.