-By Alpha Defence News Desk
In recent times the Defence and Research Development Organization has been conducting tests on a rigorous pace, with back to back area warning for almost a month now, the recent one was for the “Shaurya” hypersonic missile.
The two staged solid rocket motor-based missile can hit a target at a range of 1900 KM. This missile follows a quasi-ballistic trajectory; thus, it can maintain higher speed. This allows the missile to engage the target quickly with very less time to react to the attack. However, this is done at the cost of reduced range and therefore the missile has a range of 700-1900 KM.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the canister-launched missile with a dummy payload was successfully test fired from a land-based platform in full operational configuration marking the first test of the user series.
The missile was last tested in 2011, missile was successfully test-fired for the third time, from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha, on Saturday 24 September 2011, in its final configuration. The missile flew at 7.5 Mach and covered its full range of 700 km in 500 seconds. After this test, the missile is ready for production and induction. However, the ambiguity over the induction of this missile remained. Today’s test is a “user trial” which implies that not just this missile is inducted but can be used on adversaries if the push comes to shove.
The test assumes significance as it is one of the China specific missiles developed by the country. This missile can cover many of its major cities, though India has adopted ‘no-first-use’ policy. Shaurya can be stored in a composite canister, which makes it easy to handle and transport like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
The missile is so sprightly agile that radars across the borders on either side will have less than 400 seconds to detect, track and intercept before it hits the target. The aspect that makes this missile a unique one, is its feature of operation and maintenance. Like a ballistic missile, it is powered by solid fuel, but it can guide itself up to the target like a cruise missile.
Its two-stage rocket accelerates the missile up to 7.5 Mach, i.e seven and a half times the speed of sound before it reaches an altitude of 40 km. Upon reaching that altitude the missile can cruises towards the target and neutralise it in no time.
The DRDO Scientist while talking to media said “Shaurya has an element of surprise as it can be kept in locations camouflaged in underground silos from enemy surveillance and the enemies would not be able to detect till it is fired. It cannot be detected by satellite imaging, which makes the system war ready and lethal. The missile can be fired from both land and underwater submarines,”
Range Vs Payload:
This low-cost missile can engage target at a range of 1900 KM if the payload is 200 KG. As the payload increases the range of the missile decreases as shown in the graph below. The missile can travel only 700 KM if the payload is 1000 KG.
Message to China:
The missile that remained under the shroud of ambiguity after clearing all its tests in 2011 is now conducting user trial is a clear message to China. With ongoing border tension and increased build up across the line of actual control, the “user test” of this missile is look as a very important development. This missile can be deployed near the border areas in the underground canisters, making its almost impossible for china to anticipate.
The underground silos allow the troops to quickly prepare the missile before the launch and adversary gets only 350-400 seconds to detect, track and neutralise this missile.