FUTURE STRIKE:- First look at new VL-SRSAM launch system for Indian Navy by DRDO.
India’s State Owned DRDO has started work on VL-SRSAM (Vertically Launched -Short-range Surface Air to Missile ) System based on Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile.
VL-SRSAM will be developed in two variants for Air Force and Indian Navy. The air force will get high mobility Truck-mounted canister based VL-SRSAM and Navy will get Canister based VL-SRSAM for its frontline warships Each Vertical Launch Unit (VLU) houses 8 heavily modified quick reaction SAMs to engage incoming supersonic projectiles.
The cannisters are designed to launch missiles in hot-mode, i.e. ignition within the cannister itself & the VLU is designed to launch SAMs in quick succession incase there’s multiple incoming projectiles.
VL-SRSAM is a quick reaction point defence system for use against supersonic sea skimming targets like AShM etc including aircrafts , UAVs , munitions etc.While DRDO is mum on the missiles range, but capabilities of a similar missile system should ensure at least 40-50 km in Astra Mk1 configuration and in future Astra Mk2, range will jump to 80km.
Astra missiles when in its initial developmental phase were tested from a ground-based vertical launch before developmental moved on to IAF’s front-line fighter aircraft like Sukhoi-30 MKIs. DRDO keeping in mind possible development of any spin-off of a Ground-based Astra missile system had collected all telemetry data which could also validate its flight performance in the surface to air mode and found it to be capable of performing excellently well even in a surface to air mode.
VL-SRSAM family will consist of Truck Mounted command and control unit which includes a Radar sensor and 4-6 Missile firing units and replenishments support Truck for the Airforce variant, In Navy, VL-SRSAM variant will be integrated with main and secondary Radar system of the Warship for tracking and detection. The air force is looking for VL-SRSAM ADS which can be transported by C-130 or IL-76 when required, VL-SRSAM will supplement Akash SRSAM
VL-SRSAM for its frontline warships which will replace aging Israeli supplied Barak-1 Point Defence interceptor missiles which were procured after India ended its Tri-service Trishul SRSAM.
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