Rudram, SMART and more! India tests lethal missiles, adds advanced capabilities

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Updated: Oct 11, 2020 12:21 PM

Some of these tests were supposed to take place earlier this year but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.

On Friday, the first indigenous anti-radiation missile -- New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGARM), Rudram-1, was flight-tested. (Photo source: ANI)

Amid the ongoing India-China standoff at Ladakh, the last couple of weeks have witnessed a flurry of missile tests carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Some of these tests were supposed to take place earlier this year but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.

“Over the years DRDO has focussed in designing sophisticated Kill Vehicles, Navigation on Chip, Multi-Mode Seekers and new high energy propellants. Some of the missiles being developed by DRDO like the Nirbhay, for instance, can replace existing land attack cruise missiles like the Klub,” explains Debajit Sarkar, an expert in Smart Weapons & Aerospace & Artificial Intelligence.

An expert view of a series of tests being carried out by DRDO

According to Debajit Sarkar, “Missiles as a payload delivery system are usually harder to detect (for size reasons) and subsequently difficult to intercept (for kinematic reasons) when compared to unguided or manned delivery systems while at the same time being more affordable than their manned alternatives. Besides, missiles are survivable, can strike swiftly and can breach many defences.”

“The SMART and the air-launched BrahMos-A with a range of more than 400 km will provide the Indian soldiers a capability that they previously didn’t have. Similarly, the successful test of the DRDO developed laser-guided anti-tank missile will significantly improve the firepower of the Indian Army. The successful test of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) means India is now part of a selected group of nations that possess this state-of-the-art technology,” says Debajit Sarkar.

The advanced technology investments being made by DRDO are notified by the capability gap assessments and focus on models that bring the advanced capability to the Indian forces.

In conclusion, the Smart weapons expert opines, “The goal is to deliver capabilities that enable India’s missile force to keep pace with new and evolving threats. The Indian government will certainly not go out of its way to disturb peace and tranquillity in the neighbourhood. But then, peace is sustained by inspiring fear in the mind of the adversary. The idea is to inflict so much fear on the adversary, that they will either give in or resist from taking the first shot. DRDO is demonstrating that it has the capability to develop complex technologies and will be a major player in the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.”

NGARM Test

On Friday, the first indigenous anti-radiation missile — New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGARM), Rudram-1, was flight-tested. The test was carried out successfully by DRDO.

This has been developed by Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, which is the nodal agency. According to DRDO, it is a joint effort of IAF, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), other labs and public and private sector companies.

More about the Rudram-1

The missile was launched from SU-30 MkI fighter aircraft. It hit the radiation target with pinpoint accuracy.

This missile can play a role in jamming platforms of the enemy, or locate and target any radiation emitting source like enemy radars, communication sites and other Radio Frequency (RF) emitting targets.

Can be used for clearing a path for the fighter aircraft to carry out an offensive.

Can be useful in preventing our own systems getting jammed.

Pinpoint accuracy

With a range of up to 200 km, it can be launched from altitudes of 500 metre to 15 km and has speeds of 0.6 to 2 mach.

The DRDO statement states that it has the capability of different ranges which are based on the launch conditions.

For the final attack it will come with the Inertial Navigation System (INS)-Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation with Passive Homing Head (PHH), thus making it a potent weapon for the IAF.

Why is PHH important?

It helps in detecting, classifying and engaging targets over a wide band of frequencies as programmed.

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