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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Control navigation tests of LR-SAM conducted in Israel successful | Missile's vertical launch process established

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Indian and Israeli missile scientists achieved a breakthrough with the successful control navigation tests (CNTs) of the Long-Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM). Being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Rs 2,606-crore Project LR-SAM aims to develop an advanced naval air defence system for Indian Navy's P-15A Kolkata Class destroyers. The missile has a range of 70 km, weighing around 275 kg. Interestingly, both the DRDO and the IAI officials succeeded in keeping the test schedule and its results under wraps for over a month.
Sources confirm to Express that the CNTs were held at one of the test ranges of IAI near Tel Aviv on July 16 and July 18. “Earlier tests (inclined launches) were to ascertain the ballistic performance and now we have done the CNTs. The latest tests (vertical launches) are initial steps towards validation of the systems. We will now have another set of tests with seeker and guidance systems, scheduled to be held in Israel, at the end of this year (December). This should pave way for production,” sources said.
During the recent tests, the missiles have reportedly shown good navigation and control performance, achieving all mission objectives. The missiles followed the text-book flight trajectories and all the onboard algorithms performed as designed. “We are excited about the test results as both the front and rear servo actuation systems performed as expected. The launcher performance and the critical vertical launch process were also achieved,” sources said.
The final validation tests are expected to begin in India by early 2013, followed user trials from the ships. “This is a very important joint venture weapon development project for India and Israel. We are developing a new weapon and there were some hiccups, which we have overcome now. The completion of CNTs shifts the focus to home-on-target tests and subsequent delivery of the LR-SAM systems to Indian Navy,” sources said.
Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a top-rated DRDO lab, is spearheading LR-SAM's activities from the Indian side. The missile had its first successful ballistic flight test (short-range) in Israel in May 2010. The rear section of the missile is being developed by DRDL and the front section by IAI.
Naval sources tell Express that the weapon system, including radar, is currently being integrated on the first ship at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.
Copyright@The New Sunday Express
(Search LR-SAM on Tarmak007 for an earlier report)

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