The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted two successful flight tests of the Army version of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. Explained below are key features of the missile.
The tests were part of the live firing trials against high-speed aerial targets. The missiles are reported to have intercepted and destroyed the targets. The first launch was to intercept a medium-altitude long-range target and the second launch was for providing the capability of a low-altitude short-range target. These tests were user trials by the Indian Army.
What is a MRSAM?
The MRSAM is a surface-to-air missile jointly developed by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for use by the Indian Army. The missile will replace the ageing Air Defence systems of the Army. The MRSAM weapon system comprises multi-function radar, mobile launcher system and other vehicles. It has Army, Navy and Air Force variants.
The mobile launcher can transport, place and launch eight canisterised missiles. These can be fired either in single mode or in ripple firing mode in a vertical firing position.
The missile’s management system uses the radar to track and correctly identify the target, calculates the distance from it and gives all the information to the Commander for a decision to be made on interception. The missile itself is 4.5 metres in length with a weight of around 275 kg. It is equipped with fins and canards to stabilise its flight and provide it manoeuvrability.
How is the MRSAM powered?
The MRSAM missile is powered by a solid propulsion system coupled with a thrust vector control system. The missile can move at a maximum speed of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound). It can engage multiple targets up to a range of 70 km.