On Monday, 5th October, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted the flight of India’s first ever indigenously developed SMART torpedo system, from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha, hailing it as a “game-changer” in anti-submarine warfare.
What is SMART system?
Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) consists of a mechanism where a torpedo is launched from a supersonic missile system with some moderation which increases the range of the torpedo; as self-propelled torpedoes have limited range. For example, a torpedo would normally have a range of few kilometres of 20-30 km but with the assistance of this system, it can be sent even to a around 1000 km or more.
It takes off like a regular supersonic missile when launched from a warship or a truck-based coastal battery.
Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) and Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL) were some of the DRDO laboratories which were involved in the development of technologies required for SMART.
The @DRDO_India has successfully flight tested the Supersonic Missile assisted release of Torpedo, SMART. This will be a major technology breakthrough for stand-off capability in anti-submarine warfare. I congratulate DRDO and other stakeholders for this significant achievement.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 5, 2020
Significance of SMART
DRDO chairman Dr. G.S. Reddy labelled SMART as a “game-changer” in anti-submarine warfare.
During the test, all mission objectives, such as, missile’s flight up to designated range and altitude, separation of its nose cone, release of the torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) were met perfectly.
By the SMART, Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capability got a huge boost. It has also been observed that India is taking the ‘Make in India’ initiative seriously as number of defence equipments are being produced in the country. A recent example is Navy’s Advanced Torpedo Decoy System- Maareech, capable of being fired from all frontline warships.
SMART not only increases the range of the torpedo, but can also detect the enemy submarine to correct its light path midway. When it is close to a submarine, underwater, it would eject the torpedo system into the water and the torpedo will start moving towards its target to hit it.