The Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in association with the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) has developed an extended range anti-submarine rocket (ASR) with a maximum range of 8.5km for the Indian Navy.
Both laboratories are under the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
KM Rajan, the director of ARDE told TOI on Sunday, “We have recently demonstrated a new rocket technology to the Navy, who have issued a set of qualitative requirements to be achieved during our internal trials. We will be handing over the rocket to the Navy for their user trials after achieving the target of their qualitative requirements.”
Currently, the navy has vintage Russian rocket RGB-60 with a maximum range of 5.3km, which is an unguided area weapon for combating submarines. These rockets are fired from the RBU 6000 rocket launcher, which is fitted on-board certain Indian Naval Ships including the R-Class, Delhi Class and Talwar Class of Navy ships.
A senior DRDO scientist, who did not wish to be named, told TOI, “The Indian navy wants an extended range anti-submarine rocket which can engage an enemy’s submarine from a distance of 8km. Accordingly, a group of scientists worked on the project and developed the rocket according to the requirements of the navy. Now, we are working on the qualitative requirements that the Navy has prescribed.”
An anti-submarine officer of the Indian navy said, “Firing torpedoes to engage the enemy submarine is considered as a deliberate attack and it can be costly if the attack fails. Therefore, the rockets are mainly seen as an ‘urgent attack weapon’, which can be fired as a single or in salvo to disrupt the movement of the submarines. Therefore, the role of the rocket is as crucial as torpedoes.”
Considering the importance of the Indian Ocean Region and the increasing sighting of foreign submarines in the Indian Ocean, the officer said, it is need of the hour to have an extended range rocket which can engage hostile submarines from further away.
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