In a major breakthrough in missile technology, India on Wednesday successfully carried out the first test of a new surface-to-air missile with nozzle less booster making its mark as a military superpower in South East Asia region. Indigenously designed and developed by the country’s premier research agency - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the fastest missile in its class is capable of neutralising fast moving aerial targets.
Defence sources said the missile, which is yet to get a formal name, was flight tested from launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast at about 12.05 pm. The missile, powered by Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR), was fired from a static launcher meeting all mission objectives.
The missile flew in its intended trajectory at a speed of Mach 3 (thrice the speed of sound) and performed as expected perfectly validating the new indigenous technology. “It was a booster phase test of the missile and the mission was a major milestone for the strategic missile programme. The nozzle less booster and SFDR were tested successfully. We can now master the technology which will boost several next-generation weapon systems,” a defence official told The New Indian Express over the phone from New Delhi.
All radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems deployed along the coast tracked and monitored the health parameters of the missile system that has faster reaction time. The data generated during the test are being analysed for future missions.
“It is indeed a great achievement for the Make-in-India programme. Several other components of the missile, including the seeker with advanced technology, will be put to tests soon. Though the range was not a matter during the maiden trial, the missile will definitely have a longer strike range than the existing similar systems in the arsenal,” the official said.
Even as India has surface-to-air missile systems like Akash, Break 8, QRSAM and all-weather beyond visual range air-to-air missile Astra, the indigenously developed SFDR will help the country master in the cutting edge technology which was secured by a few selected nations so far.
“The new technology will help both surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles perform better and enhance their strike range making the weapons more lethal. Now India can have fastest long-range missiles in the two categories providing a full-fledged and multi-layered aerial protection from hostile attacks,” the official added.