In news– Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully conducted maiden flight-test of indigenously-developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile launched from a Naval Helicopter from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
About Naval Anti-Ship Missile-
- Developed by the DRDO,the first time its development was revealed to the general public was in 2018 when then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a reference to it in Parliament. Later, it was also part of the display at the 2020 Defence Exposition held in Lucknow.
- It has a range of 55 km and weighs 385 kg. This missile will replace the Sea Eagle missiles which are currently in use with the Navy.
- With the Sea King helicopters too being phased out, it is expected that the NASM-SR will be used with the new MH-60R multi-role helicopters, which are being inducted into the Navy.
- It carries a warhead of 100 kg and has subsonic capabilities, which means that it flies below the speed of sound at 0.8 Mach. The sub-sonic flight speed makes it difficult for the naval vessels on target to detect it.
- It has a launch altitude of maximum of 3 km and can skim 5 metres above sea level when on final approach to the target.
- The NASM-SR can also be fired from the shore to target vessels in the sea.
- This kind of land-based missile launch capability was shown by the Ukrainian military recently when they used a anti-ship cruise missile to sink the Russian ship Moskva.
- The NASM-SR is very effective against smaller vessels like patrol boats and can also cause widespread damage on larger vessels.
- It has been proven in modern naval conflict that a modest strike by a missile can still sink a ship because of the implosion caused by on-board fuel and ammunition.
- Also, the lighter size of the missile makes it easier to be carried by helicopters and in turn provides Naval Commanders with more options to choose from in the tactical battlefield on the seas.