India test fires VL-SRSAM from Odisha
According to the Ministry of Defence, the Vertically Launched Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was test-fired by India from the Integrated Test Range situated in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Tuesday.
Indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the air defence system is capable of engaging targets at around 15km while it has been particularly been designed for the Indian Naval Forces with an objective of neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets, as said by the Defence Research and Development Organisation officials.
All about the test
In one of the releases, the Ministry of Defence said that against an electronic target the launch was conducted from a vertical launcher at a very low altitude while a number of tracking instruments deployed by ITR, Chandipur were used in order to monitor the flight path of the vehicle along with health parameters. The release further added that all subsystems performed as per expectation.
With an intention of validating the integrated operations of all weapon system components including weapon control system, canisterised flight vehicle and vertical launcher unit with a controller which are required for future launches of the missile from Indian Naval Ships, the launch of the system was conducted. That said, the test launch was monitored by senior officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Navy.
What is a VL-SRSAM?
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, VL-SRSAM is a quick reaction surface-to-air missile that is equipped with the capability of being vertically launched from naval platforms of the Indian Naval Forces. However, reports also suggest that it is intended to replace the older Barak 1 surface to air missile system onboard Indian Navy warships. On the other hand, the above-cited VL-SRSAM missile shall be used as a short-range air defence system for the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
With four short-span long-chord cruciform wings, VL-SRSAM is based on Astra Mark 1 air-to-air missile and each Vertical Launch System is capable of holding around eight missiles for hot launch while it can be installed in an arrangement of multiple launch systems which are based on the availability of space on the ship.
Earlier this year on 22 February 2021, two VL-SRSAM were test-fired by DRDO at the Odisha coast while the efficacy of vertical launch system and missile’s maximum and minimum range was tested by the maiden launch. Both the missiles successfully intercepted their target with pinpoint accuracy.
In the previous month, the high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), ABHYAS, used for evaluation of various missile systems was tested by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Odisha.