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In a step towards augmenting the anti-aircraft capabilities of the country’s naval assets on the sea, the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) project, which can intercept incoming targets at a range of 80 km, has successfully completed its maiden test-flight from a warship.
“The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard of INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successfully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges,” the Navy said in a statement on Wednesday.
LR-SAM, also known as Barak NG (next generation), is being co-developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The missile will be manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited.
Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Navy, DRDO and IAI, the statement added.
Adding a quantum jump in its Air Defence Capability, INS Kolkata, Indian Navy’s state of art, indigenous stealth destroyer, successfully test-fired the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM). Two missiles were fired on 29th and 30th of December on high speed targets, during naval exercises being undertaken in the Arabian Sea. Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Defence
The missile was successfully test-fired against a flying target from an Israeli warship in November 2014. The project, however, is running behind schedule. It was approved in 2005 with an initial funding of Rs. 2,606 crore and was to be inducted in 2011 but has been delayed due to technical difficulties.
The Navy intends to have LR-SAM as the standard fitment on all its future warships and also retrofit existing frontline ships in due course.
While the LR-SAM will form the first tier of the multi-layered air defence at long ranges, the shorter ranges are handled by Barak-I missiles with range of around 10 km and is currently operational on all frontline warships including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
The Navy intends to replace the Barak-Is with a new Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SR-SAM), Maitri, to be jointly developed by the DRDO with MBDA of France. The approval for this has been accorded by the Defence Ministry in March this year under which nine SR-SAMs with 40 missiles each are to be initially developed.
From: The Hindu