BHUBANESWAR: Indian Navy successfully flight-tested Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from a warship, Defence officials informed on Wednesday.
The firing marked a significant milestone in proving the integration of the missile and associated fire control system with the indigenously developed ship-borne combat management suite.
The test came a week after three successful firings of short range air-to-air defence system ‘Spyder’ acquired from Israel.
Defence sources said the MRSAM, a variant of Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) Barak-8 and jointly developed by India and Israel, was fired from INS Kochi on Tuesday.
INS Kochi is one of the country’s most potent warships and the second ship among three indigenously built Kolkata class stealth guided missile destroyers inducted in the Navy.
The objective of the mission was for maximum range and high manoeuvring target. The missile, guided by a radar system and on-board avionics, destroyed the target at a very low altitude. "The missile successfully tracked and intercepted a low-flying high-speed target at enhanced range with pin-point accuracy. With this launch, MRSAM system has proved its air defence capability,’’ said an official over phone from New Delhi.
The 4.5-metre long ballistic missile weighs around 2.7 tonnes and can carry a payload of 60 kg. Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MFSTAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.
The missile, jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has been manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
It has a maximum speed of Mach 2 and provides reliable air defence at medium ranges. It can identify and destroy airborne threats like jets, missiles and rockets, including projectiles launched simultaneously.
Many Indian industries like BEL, L&T, BDL and TATA group of companies besides other private firms have contributed to the development of a number of subsystems which have been put to use in this flight test.
The missile will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats. Earlier, three tests of the weapon system were conducted from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast in June last year.