The indigenously-developed ship-borne weapon system, Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM), was successfully flight-tested by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy off the Coast of Chandipur in Odisha Friday.
VL-SRSAM, jointly designed by the three facilities of the DRDO for the Indian Naval warships, is meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets.
Friday’s launch of the system was conducted against a high-speed aerial target mimicking aircraft, which was successfully engaged. “The flight path of the vehicle along with health parameters were monitored using a number of tracking instruments deployed by Integrated Test Range in Chandipur. The test launch was monitored by senior officials from DRDO and Indian Navy.” said a statement from the Ministry of Defence.
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.
The key DRDO facilities that contributed to the development of the system are Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), both from Hyderabad, and Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) based in Pune. VL-SRSAM is a canisterised system, which means it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments. In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus making its transport and storage easier and improving the shelf life of the weapons.
VL-SRSAM was successfully tested in February and December last year. After the test Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and industry for the successful flight test and stated that the system added an armour that will further enhance defence capability of Indian Naval Ships against aerial threats, the MoD said. Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar and DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy complimented the teams involved in the successful flight test.