India successfully tested its most capable tactical missile Shaurya (Sanskrit meaning of “Valour” or “Dauntless”) in its arsenal as part of user trials on October 3.
The trial reflects the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) effort to achieve self-reliance in missile development and after a call of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made earlier this year, according to Times of India.
The missile’s newest version, hailed as one of India’s most unique missiles, was test-fired from the eastern region of India off the coast of Odisha State in the Bay of Bengal. Shaurya was tested at improved range and efficiency, and DRDO reported the missile is capable of hitting targets at distances of 800-1,900 km depending on the size of the warhead. The missile was tested in the canister version with an improved guidance system and increased range.
The new version is lighter and easier to operate in minimal mobilized time with the ability to accommodate them in canister and silos with ease. The new version missile will complement the previously inducted Shaurya missile, which has been in operation since 2011. The missile is operated by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
Shaurya is a Quasiballastic missile and can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads depending on the mission specifications. The missile’s trajectory makes it different from the previous version of ballistic missile. This version of missile enters in variable trajectory method, followed by the cruise and ballistic features during the mid-phase path, and enters in propelled hypersonic velocity in the terminal stage with maneuvering towards the target to evade missile defense systems and increase its accuracy.
Recently, India also tested its upgraded Brahmos cruise missile at an increased range of 400km, which is 100km more than the existing Brahmos in India’s arsenal.
For a month India has been testing its capable ballistic and cruise missiles as part of user trials and to assess the current operational preparedness for a war-like scenario. India is one of few countries in the world with the ability to develop and deploy short-range to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles as part of deterrence in strategic to tactical operative options.