– By Gaurav Jha
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has now also confirmed that “Garuthmaa”, a smart glide-bombs manufactured by the Research Centre Imarat have successfully passed the Integration trials on Su-30MKI.
The bomb appeared on various defense exhibitions before, but it received public attention only in the year 2017. On August 17, 2018, the bomb was test-fired from an Indian Air Force Su30 MKI at Pokhran in Jaisalmer.
The indigenously developed “garuthmaa bomb” is the DRDO glide bomb a product of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It is developed as a standardized guided weapon i.e. precision-guided bomb of 1000 KG category.
The bomb is a joint of multiple labs of DRDO working together for a common objective:
- The Nodal Laboratory Research Centre Imarat in Hyderabad
- Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) in Bengaluru,
- Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL)in Chandigarh
- Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune.
The team designed the bomb especially for the Indian Airforce to full fill their requirements of precision-guided weapons.
A precision-guided munition is a directed weapon envisioned to accurately hit a specific target, to ensure no collateral damage and increase the impact and lethality against actual targets. Historically, during the First Gulf War, these kinds of munitions accounted for only 9% of weapons used but accounted for 75% of all successful hits. This is given that the guided weapons were generally being used on difficult targets and during these missions the success rate was 35%.
Variants: Garuthmaa is part of a larger program of DRDO glide bombs. The DRDO is working on two variants of glide bombs and these are:
1.Garuthmaa: The bomb has retractable wings. The wings are deployed after the launch thus the trajectory of the bomb is modified because of the lift generated by the wings. It has a range of 100kms and a weight of 500kgs. The bomb is now cleared for the integration on the Su30 MKI fleet.
2.Garudaa: This is the non-winged and lighter version of Garuthmaa. The bomb has a smaller range of 30 km and in the future the range of this bomb will be enhanced by changing the shape profile to 100kms. Though this bomb does not have wings but has a control surface which works in conjunction with the onboard navigation and guidance system.
Impact analysis: The Indian Air Force already operates a wide variety of glide bombs of different origins and thus to bring commonality across the board, an indigenous option is the best option. The aircraft of the Indian airforce is of Russian origin, French and Anglo-French. Thus, an indigenous range of weapons is the best way to bring the commonality at least as far as munitions are concerned. This also allows the Indian airforce to constantly upgrade the platforms as these bombs are developed indigenously.
Understanding the requirement of Indian Airforce
As per the staff headquarter, Indian airforce required
Name of Potential Project: Long Range Glide Bombs
2.Brief about the project
MoD, Gol intends to procure Long Range Glide Bombs (LRGBs) to be delivered from different aircraft platforms. The LRGBs are proposed to be developed and manufactured under the ̳Make ‘category of the DPP. As a preliminary step, two classes of LRGBs_viz 125 Kg and 1000 Kg, compatible with Su-30 MKI aircraft are intended to be indigenously developed and produced.
3. Broad specifications / PSQRs which can be shared with the Industry
(a) Range should be around 100 km when released from 42000 ft.
(b) Types of a warhead – Blast fragmentation and Penetration.
(c) High accuracy.
(d) High shelf life
(e) Operation, Transportation and storage in Indian conditions.
4. Tentative quantity to be procured after successful prototype development
Approximately a thousand per year.
5. Tentative timeline for induction
6. Induction: As soon as trials are successfully completed.The staff requirement of Indian Airforce
This successful integration paves the way for the deployment of bombs across the Su30 MKI fleet of the Indian Airforce.