India test-fires first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile
NASM-SR a significant step in achieving self-reliance in niche missile technologies
Photo Credit : Indian Navy,
The indigenous anti-ship missile being fired from an Indian Navy Seaking-42B helicopter
India on May 18 conducted the maiden test firing of its first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile, codenamed the NASM-SR, an acronym for Naval Anti-Ship Missile – Short Range.
This is a significant step towards indigenisation of Indian Naval weapons, which is an important objective of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat agenda for self-reliance in critical Defence technologies.
The test-firing was jointly conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy from a Seaking 42B helicopter off the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on the coast of Odisha. “The mission met all its objectives,” the Ministry of Defence declared in a statement.
So far, the Indian Navy Seaking 42B helicopters are armed with the imported Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles. Harpoon anti-ship missiles are being used by the Indian Navy’s fixed-wing aircraft.
The test-firing of the NASM-SR comes out of the growing maturity of the DRDO in missile technology, and follows the rapid advancement in the development of indigenous air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry for the Indian Air Force.
“This firing is a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile technology and reaffirms the Indian Navy's commitment to indigenisation,” an Indian Navy spokesperson stated.
While neither the DRDO nor the Navy stated the range and the deadline for induction, timelines for the development of this missile have been compressed. “Kudos to all from the Navy and DRDO who made this possible in quick time. It's a truly great achievement,” stated the recently retired Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Karambir Singh on social media.
“The missile followed the desired sea skimming trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree of accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms. All the sub-systems performed satisfactorily. The sensors deployed across the test range and near impact point tracked the missile trajectory and captured all the events.
“The missile employed many new technologies, including an indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter. The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics,” the Ministry of Defence statement elaborated.
The flight test was witnessed by senior officers of DRDO and the Indian Navy.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and associated teams for the maiden developmental flight test. India attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of Missile systems, the Minister observed.
Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of the project team for successfully proving mission objectives. He complimented the Indian Navy and Naval Flight Test Squadron for their support to the project and said that the system will strengthen offensive capability of Indian Navy.