India on Oct 5 successfully flight tested its indigenously developed the “Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) torpedo system”, which the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) stated that it will be a “game changer” in the context of anti-submarine warfare, marking yet another milestone in strengthening the India’s maritime strategic capabilities. The SMART was tested at about 11:45 AM from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast.
Although, The test comes after the DRDO successfully tested Laser-Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile on September 23 in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Following the defence statement, It met all of the goals “flawlessly”. SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight anti-submarine torpedo system for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations for far beyond the torpedo range. This launch and demonstration are relevant in establishing anti-submarine warfare capabilities at large.
“All the mission goals, including missile flight upto the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, release of torpedo and deployment of velocity reduction mechanism (VRM) have been met perfectly,” the statement stated. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO’s scientists on the successful conduct of the test which marks a significant breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare, a DRDO official asserted.
Secretary to the department of defence R&D and DRDO’s Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy remarked that, SMART is a “game changer” technology demonstration in anti-submarine warfare. The test encompasses hybrid technology which helps to upgrade the present system and also increase the striking range. SMART, when launched from warship or a truck-based coastal battery, takes off like a regular supersonic missile.
Significantly, It follows the successful test firing on Oct 3 of its indigenously developed nuclear capable hypersonic missile “Shaurya” with a strike range of around 1,000 km from the test range. Tracking stations, including radars and electro optical systems along the coast and telemetry stations, also involving down range ships, monitored all the events.
It covers most of its flight in the air at lower altitudes with two-way data link from the warship or an airborne submarine target detection system and provides the exact location of the hostile submarine to correct its flight path midway. Just when it approaches close enough to the submerged submarine, the missile will eject the torpedo system into the water and the autonomous torpedo will start moving towards its target to take out the submarine.
The technology required for SMART has been developed by a number of laboratories, including the Hyderabad-based Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Agra-based Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) and Visakhapatnam-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).
(Author: Trilok Singh, CEO here).