India on Friday successfully test-fired Rudram 1, the tactical anti-radiation missile that the Indian Air Force can launch from its Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets to take down enemy radars and surveillance systems. The missile has a launch speech of up to 2 Mach, twice the speed of sound, people familiar with the matter said.
The new generation anti-radiation missile Rudram-1 has a strike range from 100 to 200-km depending on the altitude from which it is fired. The missile, with a launch speed from Mach 0.6 to 2 (twice the speed of sound), was tested from a Sukhoi jet against a target on the Long Wheeler island off the Odisha coast around 11.15 am.
“This is a huge step forward,” a senior government official said about the DRDO’s successful test firing. “The IAF will now have the capability to perform SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defence) operations deep into enemy territory to destroy enemy air defence setup,” the official said.
This would allow the IAF’s strike aircraft to carry out their mission unhindered effectively. “This test demonstrates the capability of an Anti-Radiation Missile with large stand-off ranges,” a second official said.
The New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile, or NGARM, is integrated on Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. Its range depends on the height at which the fighter jet is flying. It can be launched from a height ranging from 500 metres to 15 km and can hit radiation-emitting targets within a range of 250 km.
The Rudram-1 missile’s passive homing head can detect, classify and engage targets over a wide band of frequencies as programmed. “The missile is a potent weapon for IAF in conducting operations to destroy air defence set-ups deep inside enemy territory, or suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD), from large stand-off ranges. This will ensure IAF strike aircraft can carry out their missions without hindrance,” said the scientist.
This is the first such air-to-ground missile developed by DRDO for neutralizing surveillance and guidance radars, communication towers, command and control centers, and other radiation emitting targets.
“The missile, powered by two pulse solid rocket motors for enhanced range, can be launched from Sukhois from different altitudes, ranging from 500-meters to 15-km. It has both `lock on before launch (LOBL)’ and `lock on after launch (LOAL) modes,” he added.