The Indian Navy on Wednesday (18 May) successfully tested the first indigenously developed air-launched anti-ship missile.
The missile, which has been tested for the first time, was revealed for the first time at the 2020 Defence Expo in Lucknow.
On Twitter, the Indian Navy released a brief video of the Sea King 42B helicopter firing the missile from an indigenously developed launcher.
"This firing is a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile technology and reaffirms the Indian Navy's commitment to indigenisation," said a senior Navy official.
The Indian Navy carried out the test in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The existence of the missile was disclosed for the first time in 2018 when the then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman released a list of projects that were in the technology demonstration phase. According to the documents released then, a fund of Rs 434.06 crore was allocated for the project.
The specifications of the missile displayed at Defence Expo 2020 reveal that it has a range of 55 kilometres.
The missile is capable of travelling at a subsonic (slower than the speed of sound) speed of 0.8 Mach, the specifications reveal.
Weighing 380 kilogram, the missile has a 100-kilogram warhead. It can be used to target "ships and patrol boats".
It has a cruise altitude of 15 metres in midcourse and 5 metres in the terminal phase of its flight. In a statement, the Defence Ministry said that the missile followed a sea-skimming trajectory, which is the practice of flying low, close to the surface of the water, in order to avoid detection.
While the specifications list only the Sea King helicopter as the launch platform for the new missile, it may also be integrated with the MH-60R helos that will join the Indian Navy over the next few years.
Over the next few years, the DRDO is likely to develop new variants of the missile with longer ranges. The BAe Dynamics (now MBDA) medium weight Sea Eagle missiles used by the Sea King helicopters in service with the Indian Navy have a range of 100 kilometres.
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