India Successfully Tests Vertical Launch-Short Range Surface To Air Missile (VL-SRSAM)

Senior officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully flight-tested a vertical launch short range surface to air missile (VL-SRSAM) earlier today. The test was conducted from Indian Naval Naval Ship, off the coast of Odisha’s Chandipur, news agency ANI reported.

The launch of the system was conducted against a high-speed aerial target mimicking aircraft, which was successfully engaged. Flight path of the vehicle along with health parameters was monitored using a number of tracking instruments deployed by ITR, Chandipur.

The VL-SRSAM system has been designed to strike at the high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40 to 50 km and at an altitude of around 15 km. DRDO officials have said its design is based on the Astra missile which is a Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile. Two key features of the VL-SRSAM are cruciform wings and thrust vectoring.

The cruciform wings are four small wings arranged like a cross on four sides and give the projective a stable aerodynamic posture. The thrust vectoring is an ability to change the direction of the thrust from its engine control the angular velocity and the attitude of the missile, an official said.

“Congratulations to DRDO, Indian Navy and the industry for the successful flight test of vertical-launch, short-range, surface-to-air missile off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha. This success will further enhance the defence capability of Indian naval ships against the aerial threats,” defence minister said, sharing photos of the missile test.

The department of defence production also tweeted, hailing the boost to the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar defence’. “Kudos to DRDO. Another boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar defence’. (Congratulations to) Indian Navy and the industry for the successful flight test of vertical-launch, short-range, surface-to-air missile off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha.”

Earlier this month India also successfully tested its nuclear-capable Agni-4 intermediate range ballistic missile from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. The defence ministry said the test reaffirmed India’s policy of having a ‘credible minimum deterrence’ capability.

Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, said the development of this indigenous missile system will bolster the Indian Navy’s defensive capabilities.

Secretary of R&D at Department of Defence and DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy said the test has proven the integration of indigenous weapon system onboard Indian Naval Ships, while adding that the VL-SRSAM will prove to be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy. Dr G Satheesh Reddy also hailed the missile system as another milestone towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission.

The VL-SRSAM is a ship-borne weapon system and is meant to neutralize aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets. VL-SRSAM was successfully tested in February and December last year.

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