On Friday, India successfully test fired the new surface-to-air missile, developed jointly with Israel, with a strike range upto 70 km, from a defence base off Odisha coast, a day after two rounds of similar trials were conducted.
“The test was successful. With this, DRDO has created history by conducting three consecutive trials of the medium range missile successfully in two days,” a DRDO official said.
The test was conducted to validate various parameters and it met the mission requirements. The missile was test launched successfully twice on Thursday, he said.
The medium range missile (MR-SAM) for the IAF was successfully test launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at around 10.26 hours, a DRDO official said.
The missile, positioned at launch pad-3 of the ITR, swung into action after getting signal from the radars to intercept a pilotless target aircraft (PTA) over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, they said.
“The missile along with MF-STAR will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats,” said a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.
A laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), he said.
Earlier, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test had been undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata on 30 December, 2015, officials said.
Such type of medium range surface-to-air missiles having striking ranges from 50 to 70 km, can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armoury, they said.
As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of the ITR at Chandipur to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, a district revenue official said.
Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in three Odisha coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were asked not to venture into the sea during the time of the test launch.