India has successfully tested its Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from an Indian Navy ship. The test was carried out on June 24 by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Navy at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in the Bay of Bengal. The VL-SRSAM is intended to neutralize various airborne threats, including skimming targets at sea, at close range.
The launch was carried out against a high-speed aerial target imitating an aircraft. The vehicle’s flight path as well as health parameters were monitored using a number of tracking instruments. The scope of the test and the class of ship used were not specified. However, images released by DRDO show that a Rajput-class destroyer was used. INS Rana had visited the port of Paradip, which is close to the ITR, unannounced on June 22. For testing, the rear launcher for M1-Volna aboard INS Rana has been replaced by an eight-cell vertical launch module for VL-SRSAM.
This is the fourth known test of the missile system, based on the Astra air-to-air missile. The first two tests were carried out from a static launcher in February 2021. These tests were to validate the minimum and maximum range of the system. The third test conducted in December 2021 validated the integrated operation of all weapon system components, including the vertical launch unit with controller, missile and weapon control system required for future launches of the missile from Indian Navy ships.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO, Indian Navy and industry for the successful flight test and said it will further enhance the ability of Indian Navy ships to defend against airborne threats. DRDO Chairman Dr. G Satheesh Reddy congratulated the teams involved in the successful flight test and said the test proved the integration of indigenous weapon systems aboard Indian Navy vessels. Overt Defense covered the Navy’s SRSAM requirement and the planned deployment of VL-SRSAM here.