India Successfully test fired VL-SRSAM System from surface ship

The VLSRSAM, a shipborne weapon system, is meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets.

India on Friday successfully flight-tested the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from a ship at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, an official statement said. The VL-SRSAM, a ship-borne weapon system, is meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets, the statement said.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy on the success of the mission. “Congratulations to DRDO, Indian Navy & 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, he tweeted.

The flight path of the vehicle along with the health parameters were monitored by senior officials from DRDO and the Navy using a number of tracking instruments deployed by ITR, Chandipur, according to the statement. The launch was conducted against a high speed aerial target mimicking aircraft, which was successfully engaged, it said. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, too, appreciated the Navy and DRDO for their efforts. The development of this indigenous missile system will further strengthen the defensive capabilities of the Indian Navy, he said.

Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, the secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and chairman of DRDO, complimented the teams involved in carrying out the operation. He said that the weapon system will prove to be a force-multiplier for the Indian Navy and is another milestone towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

The Vertical Launch – Short Range Surface to Air Missile, or VL-SRSAM is a quick reaction surface-to-air missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). During mid-course flight, the missile uses fibre-optic gyroscope based inertial guidance mechanism while in terminal phase uses active radar homing. With lock on before launch (LOBL) and lock on after launch (LOAL) capability, the missile receives mid-course update via datalink. VL-SRSAM intended to replace older Barak 1 surface to air missile system onboard Indian Navy warships. It will also be used as short range air defence system for Indian Air Force.

DRDO successfully test fired two VL-SRSAM on 22 February 2021 at Odisha coast for the first time. The maiden launch tested the efficacy of vertical launch system and missile’s maximum and minimum range. Both the missile successfully intercepted their target with pin point accuracy.

The missile 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 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.

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