Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
March 23, 2010
NEW DELHI — India plans to test numerous missiles this year, including the Agni, Advanced Air Defense (AAD), Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) anti-ballistic missile and the indigenously developed Shaurya missile, Aviation Week has learned.
These follow a successful March 22 test of the Brahmos missile from a vertical launcher fitted on the moving warship INS Ranvir off the Orissa coast in Eastern India.
Following the recent success of the 3,500-kilometer Agni-III missile in a test last month, V.K. Saraswat, scientific adviser to the defense minister, says the Agni-V program had moved from the drawing board and material cutting stage to the point of checking subsystems. Testing for Agni-V should be done within a year, he says. Saraswat also is director general of the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO).
The Shaurya, with a range of 750 kilometers and at a price said to be comparable to the Agni, is now awaiting its third test off the port of Visakhapatnam in South India. It has the same transport launch canister as the Brahmos, according to a government official requesting anonymity.
Brahmos — the result of an Indian-Russian joint venture — performed supersonic maneuvering following the exact flight path and homed in on the decommissioned target ship during its recent test. “The launch met all mission requirements and was 100 percent successful,” says A.S. Pillai, CEO of BrahMos Aerospace.
The Universal Vertical Launcher from which the missile was fired was developed by BrahMos Aerospace and patented, according to a statement. The launcher is designed to be fitted under the warship’s deck, protecting it from atmospheric conditions and imparting stealth to the system. It also allows the missile to meet 360-degree capability.
By the end of the year, the Brahmos will be tested from a Su-30MKI, another DRDO official says. The aircraft is being modified to add the required hard points under the fuselage.
The tests will be carried out until 2011, and the missile is expected to be inducted in 2012.
Both the Indian and Russian governments have approved the Brahmos-2 hypersonic version with a speed of more than Mach 5. That system is still in the discussion stage.
- Neelam Mathews