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India’s quest for self-reliance in defense takes another step forward with the planned test-firing of a 500km range Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) next month. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile represents a significant milestone in India’s indigenous weapons development program.

This SLCM system holds immense strategic importance for the Indian Navy’s future submarines built under Project 75 India. It boasts two variants: the Land Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) and the Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM), offering versatility in targeting both land and sea-based threats.

The missile showcases advanced technologies like thrust vector control for precise maneuverability, in-flight wing deployment for increased range, and in-flight engine start for operational flexibility. A successful test in February 2023 achieved a range of 402km, paving the way for the upcoming 500km trial.

This development aligns with India’s efforts to establish a dedicated “rocket force” encompassing cruise missiles and short/medium-range ballistic missiles. Strengthening its indigenous capabilities not only enhances national security but also reduces dependence on foreign arms imports.

The successful test and subsequent integration into future submarines will significantly bolster India’s naval deterrence and power projection capabilities, particularly in the strategically crucial Indo-Pacific region. This advancement is likely to be closely watched by regional and global powers, potentially influencing the evolving geopolitical landscape.