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Recent tenders issued by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) hint at significant progress in the development of the STAR (Supersonic Target) missile program. The tenders for procuring lining materials for the rocket motor casing, nozzle, and other crucial components suggest that missile fabrication is well underway, paving the way for potential developmental trials later in 2024.

STAR is a revolutionary target missile designed to travel at supersonic speeds exceeding Mach 2.5. This capability will allow surface warship crews to train for effectively detecting and engaging incoming supersonic anti-ship missiles, a critical skill in modern warfare.

The core of STAR lies in its Liquid Fuel Ramjet (LFRJ) engine. This technology, also being developed for the Astra Mk3 air-to-air missile program, offers advantages like extended range and endurance compared to traditional rocket motors.

While training is a primary objective, the tenders suggest potential future applications for STAR. The possibility of an air-launched variant from the LCA Tejas aircraft hints at its use as an Anti-AWACS (Anti-Airborne Warning and Control System) and Anti-Radiation missile. Additionally, a ground-launched version with a booster for extended range is also under consideration.

STAR’s Impressive Specifications

  • Range: 55 kilometres to 175 kilometres
  • Altitude: Operates between 0.1 kilometres and 10 kilometres
  • Speed: Reaches Supersonic speeds between Mach 1.8 and Mach 2.5
  • Flight Time: Can sustain flight for 50 to 200 seconds

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