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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of India has released its year-end review for 2023, showcasing significant advancements in the country’s military capabilities. Amongst these achievements, the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) stands out as a game-changer for India’s naval and air defense.

Developed as a surface-to-air variant of the Astra MkI Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), the VL-SRSAM packs a punch with a remarkable strike range of 80 kilometers. This exceeds expectations, as initial predictions estimated a range below 50 kilometers. The extended range allows the VL-SRSAM to effectively neutralize a wide range of aerial threats.

The VL-SRSAM inherits the powerful solid-propellant rocket motor and advanced seeker technology of its air-to-air counterpart, ensuring accuracy and lethality. The larger fins likely adapted from the QRSAM, enhance the VL-SRSAM’s maneuverability and targeting precision. VL-SRSAM also features a thrust vectoring control system.

Primarily designed for the Indian Navy, the VL-SRSAM will provide enhanced close-range protection for frontline warships. It is slated to replace the Israeli-supplied Barak-I Point Defence Missile system, offering a more potent and domestically developed alternative.

The versatility of the VL-SRSAM doesn’t stop with naval applications. The MoD plans to develop a ground-based air defense system variant for the Indian Air Force. This will further bolster India’s terrestrial air defense capabilities, providing crucial protection against aerial threats across diverse environments.

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