A New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGARM), RudraM-I, was successfully flight-tested on Friday by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This is the first indigenous anti-radiation missile of the country.
An anti-radiation missile can locate and target any radiation emitting source like enemy radars, communication sites and other Radio Frequency (RF) emitting targets. They can play a key role in neutralising any jamming platforms of the enemy or take out radar stations thereby clearing a path for own fighters to carry out an offensive and also prevent own systems from being jammed.
“The RudraM-I was successfully flight-tested onto a radiation target located on Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. The missile was launched from SU-30 MkI fighter aircraft,” the DRDO said in a statement. It hit the radiation target with pinpoint accuracy, it stated.
The missile after the launch, manoeuvred towards the target based on direction detected by the seeker and all mission objectives were successfully met, a defence source said. “It has a range of up to 200 km depending upon the launch conditions. The missile can be launched from altitudes of 500 m to 15 km and speeds of 0.6 to 2 mach,” the source added.
The missile, integrated with SU-30 MkI aircraft, has a capability of varying ranges based on the launch conditions. Having the Inertial Navigation System (INS)-Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation with Passive Homing Head (PHH) for the final attack, it is a potent weapon for the Indian Air Force for suppression of enemy air defence effectively from large stand-off ranges, the DRDO said.
The PHH can detect, classify and engage targets over a wide band of frequencies as programmed.
Elaborating on the launch procedure, another source said that once the SU-30MKI approached the target, the launch processor in the launcher, the onboard computer and the passive seeker in the missile, worked in unison to display the required mission data to the pilot for action. “After completion of alignment of navigation system of the missile, the dynamic launch zone was displayed to the pilot,” the source said.
The PHH detected the target, and measured the direction of arrival of radiation and once the PHH seeker got a lock-on to the target (in lock-on before launch mode), the target was designated and the launch operation was performed by the pilot. Auto-launch was invoked and the missile was ejected using the catapult launcher, the source said.
The propulsion system ignited after ensuring safe separation from the launch platform, after which control and guidance algorithms in the onboard computer generated commands to correct the missile course. The seeker measurements were used to generate guidance commands to reach the target point, the source explained.
The NGARM is being developed by Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, as the nodal agency. It is a joint effort involving several DRDO labs, the IAF, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and several public and private sector enterprises.