Flight test of supersonic missile-assisted torpedo release conducted successfully

Dark Sorrow

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The development of the system has been crucial in capacity building of naval platforms to strike beyond the torpedo range, said DRDO officials.

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A successful flight test of the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) system was conducted from Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha, on Monday. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, has termed the system a game changer in anti-submarine warfare.


The development of the system has been crucial in capacity building of naval platforms to strike beyond the torpedo range, said DRDO officials. The system will be a significant addition to India’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities and the test on Monday is a key step towards its deployment, they said.


According to a press statement from the Ministry of Defence, the SMART system was “successfully flight-tested on Monday, at 11.45 am, from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. All the mission objectives, including missile flight up to the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, release of torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) have been met perfectly.”



The tracking mechanisms for test — the radars, electro-optical systems along the coast and the telemetry stations, including down range ships — monitored all the events.SMART is a missile-assisted release of lightweight anti-submarine torpedo system for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations far beyond torpedo range.


A number of DRDO laboratories, including Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), both located in Hyderabad, Ariel Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) Agra and Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam, have developed the technologies required for SMART.


“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO scientists for the important feat. Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development and Chairman of DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, said that SMART is a game changer technology demonstration in anti-submarine warfare,” read the press statement.

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Dark Sorrow

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SMART stands for ‘Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo .’ Its flight test was conducted from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.


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India on Monday conducted a successful flight test of the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.

All mission objectives, including missile flight upto the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, the release of Torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM), were met perfectly in the flight test, the Press Information Bureau, the government’s nodal agency, noted in a release.


“The tracking stations (Radars, Electro Optical Systems) along the coast and telemetry stations including down range ships monitored all the events,” the release further noted.


Congratulating the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “The DRDO has successfully flight tested the Supersonic Missile assisted release of Torpedo, SMART. This will be a major technology breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare. I congratulate DRDO and other stakeholders for this significant achievement.”



The @DRDO_India has successfully flight tested the Supersonic Missile assisted release of Torpedo, SMART. This will be a major technology breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare. I congratulate DRDO and other stakeholders for this significant achievement.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 5, 2020
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SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations for far beyond torpedo range. This launch and demonstration are significant in establishing ASW capabilities.

Dr G Satheesh Reddy, chairman, DRDO, described SMART as a ‘game-changer’ technology demonstration in anti-submarine warfare.


Monday’s test comes after the DRDO successfully tested Laser-Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile on September 23 in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.

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Dark Sorrow

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In major breakthrough, India successfully tests supersonic missile-assisted release of torpedo

SMART is a hybrid missile that incorporates technologies of two different weapon systems making it faster and stealthier. With this, India has got an anti-submarine weapon with much higher range.

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BHUBANESWAR: In a major technological breakthrough, India on Monday successfully tested the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) system for the first time from a defence facility off the Odisha coast.


Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight anti submarine torpedo system for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations far beyond torpedo range. The launch demonstrated India’s anti submarine warfare capabilities.


Defence sources said the test was conducted from a ground based platform at the Abdul Kalam Island at about 11.45 am. All the mission objectives 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.

All the tracking stations, radars, electro-optical systems along the coast and the telemetry stations including down range ships monitored the event. “SMART is a game changer technology demonstration in the anti submarine warfare. It is one of the important missile technologies India has developed in recent times,” DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy said.


SMART is a hybrid missile that incorporates technologies of two different weapon systems making it faster and stealthier. With this, India has got an anti-submarine weapon having much higher range. While the long range torpedo available in the world is around 50 km and rocket-assisted torpedoes can strike at a range of 150 km, the SMART will have a range of over 600 km.


“Once fired, the weapon system will fly like a supersonic missile in the air at a low altitude and eject the torpedo into water after it comes closer to the target. The torpedo will then move towards the target and destroy it,” said a scientist associated with the project.


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).


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated the DRDO scientists for the significant achievement. “This will be a major technology breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare,” he said.

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DRDO’s SMART missile could be trump card against China’s submarines

The ministry of defence announced that the DRDO has tested a new weapon system called the Supersonic Missile-Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) on Monday from its test facility at Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. In a press release, DRDO described SMART as a system meant to conduct anti-submarine warfare operations (ASW) “far beyond” torpedo range. DRDO announced that all mission objectives for the SMART system had been fulfilled. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for the test, describing it as a “significant achievement”. Rajnath tweeted, “This will be a major technology breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare.” Plaudits aside, what exactly is SMART? SMART has been a seemingly ‘mysterious’ project for the DRDO with few details available on what the system was, unlike the programme to build ballistic missiles or a stealth fighter. One of the first details of what SMART is came from the ministry of defence’s annual report for 2018 to 2019. In the report, the ministry of defence noted, “DRDO has taken up a project to develop and demonstrate a missile-assisted release of light weight anti-submarine torpedo system for ASW operations far beyond torpedo range (50-650 km).” The ministry of defence also noted that ejection trials had been conducted with a Torpedo Advanced Light (TAL), an indigenously developed torpedo, which is also called the Shyena. From the available information, it is clear the SMART is a rocket system that carries an anti-submarine torpedo as its payload. Such rocket systems fly to a designated point over water, before releasing their torpedoes. Why rocket-assisted torpedoes matter Surface warships, particularly in western navies, have typically carried light-weight torpedoes as their primary weapon for anti-submarine warfare as heavy-weight torpedoes are significantly larger in diameter, meaning fewer can be carried. However, light-weight torpedoes also have shorter range. For example, the Shyena is estimated to have a range of around 20km. The short range of light-weight torpedoes makes them, effectively, defensive weapons against enemy submarines. This would pose a significant disadvantage particularly if an enemy has a large number of submarines, in particular, nuclear-powered vessels that have much higher submerged speed than conventional diesel-electric submarines. Rocket-assisted torpedoes, effectively, extend a torpedo’s range and also help it cover a larger distance in a shorter period of time. Rocket-assisted torpedoes are not new, per se; both the US Navy and the Soviet Union developed rocket-assisted torpedoes. For example, the US Navy still operates the ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket), a rocket-propelled torpedo system that was first designed in the 1950s. Current versions of the ASROC in service with the US Navy are estimated to have a range of over 25km and travel at subsonic speed before releasing the torpedo. China has also been developing and deploying rocket-assisted torpedo systems for decades. SMART, on paper, would be a quantum leap for the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities, given the very-long range that DRDO has specified and its supersonic speed. The Indian Navy would need to modernise and expand its range of ship-borne and airborne anti-submarine surveillance and detection capabilities to take full advantage of the SMART missile. Defence analyst Saurav Jha tweeted the SMART had “no analogue” in the world today. Jha tweeted, “No exact analogue to the SMART exists in the world today. You can argue the Russian 91RE1 & 91RTE2 (from the club family) and the American cancelled RUM-125 (sea lance) (plus ASROC etc) are similar in concept. But nothing has ever targeted submarines like this 650 km away.” The development of the SMART missile comes as China continues its near-relentless development of both nuclear-powered and conventional submarines. A report on China’s naval modernisation by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence noted that by 2030, China could have as many as 76 submarines: Eight nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, 13 nuclear-powered attack submarines and 55 diesel-electric submarines. China’s rivals such as India and the US have warily watched Beijing’s attempts to develop bases in nations such as Pakistan and Cambodia, which would give this large submarine fleet a springboard. SMART could turn out to be a major factor in how India will counter China’s submarine menace.
 

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