The long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) system, developed by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with an intercept range of 70 km, was finally tested for the first time on Monday after a long delay.
Defense ministry said LR-SAM’s “hot test” against a flying target was “successful” in Israel in the presence of DRDO chief Avinash Chander, IAI chairman Joseph Weiss and senior officials. of the Israel Defense Forces.
âAll the systems, including the radar, communications launch systems and the missile system, performed as intended and hit the target directly. The system is being developed for the Indian and Israeli armed forces, âan official said.
Israel is one of India’s largest defense suppliers, with sales of around $ 1 billion per year. But the long delay in the development of around Rs 13,000 crore of two advanced SAM systems – one for arming Indian warships and the other for IAF air defense squadrons – has meant that new Warships like the INS aircraft carrier Vikramaditya and the native destroyer INS Kolkata remain bare in terms of having an effective missile shield.
âLR-SAM’s multifunction surveillance and threat radars, data link weapon control systems and the like had been tested earlier. The wait was for the hot tests of the missile, âan official said.
âThe technological challenge of rocket engine combustion instability has taken a long time to overcome. The induction of the two SAM systems can now start from 2016. They must be produced in bulk by the PSU Bharat Dynamics defense, âhe added.
The navy, after all, has over 40 warships on order in Indian shipyards at a cost of over Rs 2 lakh crore. LR-SAM is to be installed on existing and under construction warships, including INS Vikramaditya, Delhi and Kolkata class destroyers, Shivalik and Talwar class stealth frigates.
Likewise, the IAF version will fill existing gaps in the country’s air defense coverage, with SAM systems being designed to neutralize threats from multiple targets simultaneously.
Currently, the INS Viraat aircraft carrier and 13 other warships are equipped with the Israeli Barak-I missile defense system, which can be considered a “point defense weapon” with an interception range of 9 km. The new SAM systems under development are a generation ahead of them.