DRDO, Navy successfully test short-range, anti-air missile - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

The VL-SRSAM, which is derived from DRDO’s highly successful Astra Mk-1 air-to-air missile, is an indigenous upgrade to the Israeli Barak 1 SAM system on Indian warships.

By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 25 Jun 22

Indian Navy warships have become more heavily protected and harder to hit with aircraft and anti-ship missiles, with the successful flight test of the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) on Friday .

The VL-SRSAM, which the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed locally for the Indian Navy, was fired from an Indian warship at a high-speed aerial target that mimicked an incoming enemy aircraft .

India’s most modern warships, such as the Visakhapatnam-class destroyers and Nilgiri-class frigates, are equipped with multiple layers of defense against their greatest threats – enemy aircraft and anti-ship shaving missiles.

The first line of defense is provided by the Indo-Israeli Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (MR-SAM), which are capable of shooting down hostile air threats at ranges of up to 70 kilometers.However, the MR-SAM can only engage targets that fly at altitudes above 30 meters.

If the incoming aircraft or anti-ship missiles are a “sea skimmer”, i.e. flying at an altitude of less than 30 meters, the warship will use a VL-SRSAM to destroy the target. The VL-SRSAM can engage incoming aircraft at any altitude between 3 meters and 4,000 meters and at a range of 25 to 30 kilometers.

During the mid-course flight, the VL-SRSAM missile uses fiber optic inertial guidance, based on a gyroscope mechanism. With pre-launch lockout (LOBL) and post-launch lockout (LOAL), the missile receives a mid-course update by data link. Then, in the terminal phase, the missile switches to active radar homing.

The VL-SRSAM is an indigenous upgrade of the two-decade-old Israeli Barak 1 surface-to-air missile system aboard Indian warships. It is derived from DRDO’s highly successful Astra Mark-1 air-to-air missile, which was recently successfully fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter.

Several countries that have successfully developed air-to-air missiles have modified them into other formats: The United States converted the AIM-7 Sparrow to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. The French MICA missile has a land variant called VL-MICA.

The platform provides an integrated solution that integrates both missile and weapon control system (WCS). Equipped with 360° interception capability, it can detect and engage threats from different directions.

The VL-SRSAM missile features a smokeless exhaust and thrust vector control driven by jet vanes that allows for fast reaction time during vertical launch. The VL-SRSAM system is designed for area and point defense to protect naval platforms.

Each Vertical Launch System (VLS) contains forty missiles in a dual quad cartridge configuration. Each carries eight missiles for hot launch, which can be installed in an arrangement of multiple launch systems depending on space availability on the warship.

In its first tests, the DRDO successfully tested two VL-SRSAMs on February 22, 2021. The maiden launch tested the effectiveness of the VLS and the maximum and minimum range of the missile. Both missiles fired successfully intercepted their targets with pinpoint accuracy.

During the second test on December 7, 2021, VL-SRSAM was successfully fired by DRDO from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off Odisha. The launch was carried out from a vertical launcher against an electronic target at very low altitude. The objective was to validate the integrated operation of all components of the weapon system, including the vertical launch unit with controller, the canisterized flight vehicle and the weapon control system.

The DRDO planned to outsource the manufacture of the missile to a private sector company, making it one of the first major weapons platforms to be produced by private industry under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Project (India). autonomous). However, the company that will manufacture VL-SRSAM has not yet been identified.

It is also planned to be used as a short-range air defense system for the Indian Air Force.