Bengaluru, June 30: India on Thursday successfully test-fired the Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) for the first time from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), off Odisha coast.
The missile, jointly developed by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was test-fired from LC-III (Launch Complex) of ITR situated in Chandipur at around 8.15 am. The MRSAM is being developed for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Interestingly, the missile was test-fired for the second time today, successfully.
"The second launch of the missile too is a hit with target getting blown off completely. The second trial (low-altitude) was held at 3.45 pm and the missile was on a perfect path as per the script," an official said.
Speaking to OneIndia from Chandipur, an official said that the maiden mission met all the parameters.
Target drone completely destroyed at first strike
"Mission was very successful. The missile hit the target destroying it completely. We used an unmanned platform (not the PTA developed by ADE, but an imported drone) as the target," says the official. The launch was witnessed by both Indian and Israel teams.
From the DRDO side two Hyderabad based labs -- RCI and DRDL -- played key role for this missile project that was sanctioned in 2009. The project is currently running behind schedule by two years owing to technical issues both sides (DRDO-IAI) ran into during the development phase.
According to the official, DRDL (Hyderabad) developed the motor for the missile and R&D Engineers (Pune), the launcher. Companies like Tata Nova, L&T, BEL and BDL too contributed to the project.
The missile with a maximum range of 70 km is guided by a radar system and on-board avionics, which enabled to pierce through the target drone. The unique Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MFSTAR) aids detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. The 2.7 tonne missile can carry a payload of 60 kg.
More tests to follow in the coming days
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated DRDO and industry partners for the successful flight test of the missile.
"We will be conducting more trials to test various new parameters as well. The Israeli team is also satisfied with the today's launches," says an official.
The MRSAM when inducted will replace the aging and outdated Pechora SAM systems, currently being used by the IAF.
As per the initial estimates, 450-plus MRSAMs and 18 firing units were to be delivered units a cost of Rs 10,075 crore.
DRDO says MRSAMs will be the best bet for an effective air defence of vital areas/vital points (VAs/VPs) in the Indian sub-continent. The missile system can also be integrated with air-borne platforms (AWACS & AEW&C) for centralized command and control.