India has successfully test-fired indigenous air-launched NGARM missile which is developed to annihilate a variety of surveillance and radar systems 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.