You are currently viewing Torpedoes launched from supersonic missiles: this is how the Indian army hopes that its attacks on ships will be more effective

With just over 7,500 kilometers of coastline, it is understandable that India wants to take care of its naval security. Proof that the country’s authorities are looking for ways to improve it is that the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the R&D wing of the Indian Defense Ministry, has just tested a peculiar and surprising system for launching torpedoes.

Peculiar in shape: before cutting through the water toward its target, such as an enemy ship or submarine, the projectile flies through the air aboard a supersonic missile launched from the back of a special truck. The device has already been tested —with DRDO sample video included— and the Indian authorities were quick to call it a “success.”

“A Textbook Launch”

The test was carried out a month ago, on December 13, on Wheeler Island, in Odisha, about 220 kilometers from Calcutta. The device was transported and launched from the back of a truck, allowing the army to easily move the projectile’s point of departure and enjoy greater flexibility than conventional coastal defenses offer. The system, named SMART (Supersonic Missile Assited Torpedo), uses next-generation missiles and seeks to “enhance anti-submarine warfare capability far beyond the conventional range of the torpedo.”

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“It was a manual launch,” the Indian Ministry of Defense highlights in a statement detailing how the entire trajectory was monitored by an electro-optical telemetry system and radars. In addition to the torpedo, the missile included a launch system with parachute and release mechanism. It does not specify, yes, neither the model nor the range of its projectile.

Torpedoes are self-propelled explosives that travel submerged or on the ocean surface and use guidance systems to home in on their targets, such as ships or submarines. India is not the first to seek ways to expand its uses. The US Navy, for example, has also tested the combination of light torpedoes and missiles, which extends your range and offers the added advantage of keeping the launch craft away from enemy weapons.

The weapon used by India – the specialized website 1945 specifies – is similar to the US RUM-139 vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (VL ASROC), Russia’s RPK-9 Medvedka or China’s CY-1. In the case of the RUM-139, Mk 46 or Mk 54 torpedoes are included, which, thanks to a rocket, end up reaching approximately 22 kilometers. The torpedo, once expelled from its missile -equipped with a parachute- he enters the water and heads for his target.

Images | DRDO and Indian Ministry of Defense

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