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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

In 2016, DRDO was given funding of 340 crores for the Development of Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) weapon system which could be next big thing coming from India after induction of Mach 3 Capable supersonic BrahMos Anti-Ship Missile system which changed security scenario of warships operating in the Indian Ocean.

Exclusive details provided to idrw.org tells why India’s Naval offensive warfare doctrine is about to get a major boost in upcoming years with the induction of the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) against hostile underwater submarine force operating in the region.

Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) has its name is a Hybrid weapon system where two-weapon capabilities are joined to make one weapon system that vastly expands the range and speed of a weapon system which has not changed much over the decades. idrw.org was told that the longest range of Heavy Torpedo system world over is usually around 50km and even rocket-assisted ones have a range of 140-150km but SMART due to Hybrid technologies will have a range of 650km.

The advantage of such a system is the impressive range which they offer and the submerged submarine won’t know till the last few minutes what is approaching them, thus limiting the reaction time of the submarine’s crew for taking evasive action and deploying countermeasures.

Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) when launched from Warship or an Truck based Coastal Battery, will take off like a regular Supersonic missile and will cover most of its flight in the air at lower altitudes with two-way data link from the warship or an Airborne Submarine Target detection system providing the exact location of the hostile submarine to correct its flight path midway and just when it has approached close enough to the submerged submarine the missile will eject the Torpedo system into the water and the autonomous torpedo will start moving towards its target to take out submarine.

Since SMART is a Hybrid weapon system it is expected that both the Supersonic missile part and the Torpedo part will be based on an existing weapon system to make it one weapon system. Since most of the details are still classified, it is speculated that Supersonic missile could be existing Supersonic missile which has been modified to incorporate an Advanced LWT (ALWT) light-water torpedo developed by India.

Since Advanced LWT torpedo has a range of 30km underwater so it can be safely said that Supersonic missile which will assist the Torpedo will have a range of over 600km+ when it is in the air. SMART will be like a capsule carrying a detachable warhead that is the Torpedo which will eject in the air and the latter drops down with the help of a parachute, which gets detached when the torpedo hits the water.

SMART type concept of developing a Hybrid Weapon system against submarines is not new idea, Both the United States and the Soviet Union have experimented with such Hybrid technologies at the height of Cold-war and DRDO’s SMART weapon system closely resembles Boeing ‘s UUM-125 Sea Lance developed for the United States Navy in the ’80s but later suspended.

China has developed a similar system called Yu-8 ASW missile which works on the same Hybrid principle of SMART weapons system but has a range of only 40km, while it has been reported that an improved variant has been under development to double its range to 70-80 as per Chinese media but SMART will be far superior to the Chinese Yu-8 ASW missile in range and capabilities.

According to the Annual Report for 2018-19 by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), In August 2018, the pneumatic ejection test of TAL dummy torpedo from canister was carried out at 150 bar which established the design of safe shear pin failure. The ejection speed of torpedo was also estimated during the trials.

 

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