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India’s Indigenous air warfare capabilities leapt forward on May 29th with the successful test-firing of the Rudram-II air-to-surface missile. Launched from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet off the coast of Odisha, this marked the first full-configuration test of the weapon.

The 800kg missile can carry a 200kg warhead 200kg warhead, is designed as a “universal weapons system.” This means it can be seamlessly integrated into various Indian fighter jets, including the upcoming Tejas MkII and potentially the Rafale in the future.

The Su-30MKI can carry a formidable payload of three Rudram-II missiles, and so can Tejas MkII which also can be equipped with three Rudram-II. The Tejas Mk1A will be able to carry two Rudram-II.

Developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), the Rudram-II comes in two variants: an anti-radiation missile (ARM) and a ground-attack missile. The ARM variant is designed to neutralize enemy radar and communication systems, while the ground-attack variant can take out a wide range of enemy assets. These missiles are intended to be operational on the IAF’s Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

The Rudram-II boasts an impressive range of over 300km and comes near to 350km depending on launch alitidues, Rudram-II is powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor. For precise targeting, it utilizes a combination of inertial and satellite navigation during mid-course flight.

DRDO Plans more trials of the missile to ascertain various launch parameters before the missile system is cleared for production. DRDO also has developed the Rudram-III Air to Surface missile that has a range of 550-600km and weighs nearly 1.5ton.

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