The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted its maiden launch of the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) on Monday from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Odisha coast.
Based on the Astra missile, the VL-SRSAM was successfully launched from a static vertical launcher. Like the Astra air-to-air missile, it is intended to neutralise aerial threats at close range including sea-skimming targets that could be a threat to Naval assets. The VL-SRSAM could replace the Barak-1 missiles, with a 2019 Request For Proposal from the Navy stating it was seeking to procure a replacement for the Israeli missile.
The current launches were carried out for demonstration of vertical launch capability as part of its maiden launch campaign, DRDO said. On both occasions, the missiles intercepted the simulated targets with pinpoint accuracy. The missiles were tested for minimum and maximum range. VL-SRSAM with Weapon Control System (WCS) were deployed during the trials.
The launches were monitored by senior scientists from various DRDO labs involved in the design and development of the system such as DRDL, RCI, Hyderabad and R&D Engineers, Pune.
During the test launches, flight path and vehicle performance parameters were monitored using flight data, captured by various Range instruments such as Radar, EOTS and Telemetry systems deployed by ITR, Chandipur.
The present trials have proved the effectiveness of the weapon system and few more trials will be conducted shortly before deployment on Indian Naval ships. Once deployed, the VL-SRSAM system will prove to be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO on the successful trials. Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DD R&D & Chairman DRDO congratulated the teams involved in successful flight test of VL-SRSAM Missile System.
Several countries have converted their air-to-air missiles to other formats: The US converted the AIM-7 Sparrow into the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, the French MICA missile has a land-launched variant called VL-MICA.
The Astra missile has various operational ranges, from 110km with the MK 1 (expected to be integrated onto the indigenously developed HAL Tejas) to the 350km Mk 3 under development.