Indian Missile Program Updates

Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: VL-SRSAM

Mains level: Short range missiles development

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy has successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

What is Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VLSRSAM) ?

  • VL-SRSAM has been designed and developed jointly by three facilities of the DRDO for deployment of Indian Naval warships.
  • The missile has the capability of neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
  • The tactic of sea skimming is used by various anti-ship missiles and some fighter jets to avoid being detected by the radars onboard warships.
  • For this, these assets fly as close as possible to sea surface and thus are difficult to detect and neutralise.

Features of VL-SRSAM

  • The missile has been designed to strike at the high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40 to 50 km and at an altitude of around 15 km.
  • Its design is based on Astra missile which is a Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile.
  • Two key features of the VL-SRSAM are cruciform wings and thrust vectoring.
  • The cruciform wings are four small wings arranged like a cross on four sides and give the projective a stable aerodynamic posture.
  • The thrust vectoring is an ability to change the direction of the thrust from its engine control the angular velocity and the attitude of the missile.
  • VL-SRSAM is a canisterised system, which means it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.
  • In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus making its transport and storage easier and improving the shelf life of weapons

Strategic significance of the missile

  • The launch was conducted from a vertical launcher against an electronic target at a very low altitude.
  • The flight path of the vehicle along with health parameters was monitored using a number of tracking instruments deployed by ITR, Chandipur.
  • The successful testing of these systems was crucial for future launches of the missile from Indian Naval Ships.


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