In a bid to fast track its major strategic defence projects in the backdrop of Chinese aggression along the line of actual control, India on Monday successfully flight tested indigenously developed Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) missile from a ground-based platform off Odisha coast.
The air-to-surface missile developed by DRDO for the Indian Air Force was test fired from a roof-top launcher at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) against a static target. The crucial developmental trial conducted in association with Indian Air Force met all mission parameters as the missile hit the target with high accuracy.
An upgraded version of anti-tank missile – Helicopter Launched Nag (HeliNa), the SANT missile has both lock-on before launch and lock-on after launch capability. Equipped with an advanced nose-mounted seeker the missile can destroy targets 15 km to 20 km away.
“While the earlier version of the missile has a strike range of about eight km, the upgraded variant with infrared imaging seeker can cover at least double the distance. One more trial of the missile has been planned on Tuesday. A series of successful tests would pave the way for its induction and serial production,” a defence official said.
The trials of the fourth generation ‘fire and forget’ missile are being conducted after the weapon system underwent a couple of tests in desert conditions in Pokhran firing range. The missile will be inducted after a series of tests from the actual launch platform on-board light combat helicopters and advanced light helicopters.
“The nose mounted advanced seeker helps the missile evade enemy attack as it can be fired from a safe distance. Unlike other missiles in its class, it can neutralise targets at a long range. SANT missile is one of the best airborne anti-armour guided missiles in the world,” the official added.
This was 11th missile test fired by India within one and a half month. This test came in the wake of twin successes of Laser Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) from KK ranges at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra on September 22 and October 1.
The ATGM fired from MBT Arjun destroyed target located at a longer range. The missile locks and tracks the targets with the help of laser designation to ensure precision hit accuracy.