SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Aeronautical Development Establishment of the DRDO is continuing R&D on the subsonic, 1,500 km-range Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) and earlier this year achieved a much-needed breakthrough after it was able to validate the newly developed small turbofan engine (STFE) in a fresh test from a defence facility off Odisha coast.
ITCM this year was tested with an upgraded mono-pulse X-band Imaging Synthetic Aperture Radar developed by the DRDL and ADE is planning to hold more tests this year for complete range to demonstrate missile capabilities before the technological demonstrator program is officially closed for the development of Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM).
ITCM’s journey since 2020 has been bumpy, with four tests recorded, two failures, one partial success, and one recent success which is seen as a breakthrough in the programme, with expectations rising for more repeated success so that the successor programme can emerge soon.
DRDO and ADE are pushing for 100% indigenous content in the Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM) programme, which can also be fired from the UVLM (Universal Vertical Launcher Module) developed for the BrahMos Cruise missiles, which are already installed on 30 frontline warships.
The LRLACM programme will initially be developed for the Navy and will require nearly 20 developmental flights before it is cleared for production, with a target production run of 200 units. Air variants of the LRLCAM will be developed concurrently with the submarine-launched variant, and all of this will depend on the results of the next few tests.
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