Balasore (Odisha): India today successfully test fired a new surface-to-air missile, developed in a joint venture with Israel, from a defence base off the Odisha coast.
The medium range missile (MR-SAM) was successfully test launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at around 8:15 am, a DRDO official said. “The test launch was a grand success and it met all the targets,” he said.
The missile positioned at launch pad-3 of the ITR swung into action after getting a signal from the radars to intercept a moving aerial target supported by an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) ‘Banshee’ over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
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, they said.
“The missile, along with MF-STAR, will provide users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats,” said a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.
Indian Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL), a laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad, has developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), he said.
A new production facility to deliver 100 missiles a year has been established for such long-range and medium-range surface-to-air missiles at M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited, India.
The missile test, which was supposed to occur on June 29, was deferred at the last moment.
Earlier, the Indian navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test was undertaken on the western seaboard by INS Kolkata on December 30, 2015, officials said.
Such type of medium range surface-to-air missiles (SR-SAM), with striking ranges from 50 to 70 km, can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armoury at present, they said.
These missiles would be inducted in all three services after the user’s trial is completed.
As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 civilians living within a 2.5 km radius of the launch pad to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch, said a district revenue official.
Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in three Odisha coastal districts, Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada, were asked not to venture into the sea during the test launch time.