India has tested a new indigenous air-launched missile called NGARM, which is designed to destroy a variety of surveillance and radar targets on the ground after being fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter.
This new-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM), with a strike range of around 100-km, is the first indigenous air-to-ground missile to be developed by the DRDO, after the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile developed jointly with Russia.
“The missile was tested from a Sukhoi-30MKI on January 18 at the integrated test range at Balasore. The missile, with all systems functioning properly, hit the designated target with a high degree of accuracy in the Bay of Bengal. The NGARM can be launched from Sukhois from different altitudes and velocities,” said a source.
On Thursday, the DRDO-Navy combine also conducted another test of the advanced Barak long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) system, jointly developed by DRDO with Israeli Aerospace Industries and Rafael, from destroyer INS Chennai on the high seas.
The supersonic Barak-8 missile system, whose interception range is 70-100 km, is in the process of being tested from Indian warships. Once fully operational, the LR-SAM will equip all frontline Indian warships as an all-weather “defence shield” against incoming enemy fighters, drones, helicopters, missiles and other munitions.
“It will be the standard LR-SAM or area defence weapon for our warships, much like the 290-km BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles have become the standard precision strike weapon on them. PSU Bharat Dynamics is already gearing up for producing the LR-SAM systems in bulk,” said an official.
The LR-SAM development project was sanctioned for Indian warships in December 2005, with an initial amount of Rs 2,606 crore, but was hit by several delays. Over a dozen Indian warships are currently equipped with the Barak-I system, “a point defence weapon” with an interception range of just 9-km, acquired from Israel after the 1999 Kargil conflict.
The new LR-SAM system with Barak-8 interceptor missiles, which have “active seekers” for terminal guidance, is a much more advanced version with extended interception range. The ground-based version of Barak-8, which was sanctioned in February 2009 for Rs 10,076 crore, will in turn be utilized by the IAF to plug the existing gaps in air defence coverage of the country.
SOURCE : TNN