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DRDO is to select private sector defence firms to build Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) Seeker Systems for Naval Anti-ship Missile. Selected company is reported to deliver 16 units initially. DRDO will provide the design for the system and it will be manufactured per predetermined specifications.

Navy’s NASM-SR

In May 2022, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy successfully recently conducted maiden flight-test of the indigenously-developed Naval anti-ship missile NASM-SR launched from a helicopter from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.

It is the first indigenous air launched short-range anti-ship missile system for the Indian Navy.

The missile test showcased sea skimming trajectory and reached the designated target with accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms, the Navy said.

Critically, the missile employed the indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter. The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics. However, the terminal IIR seeker is imported from a foreign source which DRDO is seeking to replace with an indigenous unit.

The Naval Anti-Ship Missile (Short Range) (NASM-SR) has a range of 55 km and is set to replace the Navy’s sea eagle missiles. The NASM-SR will reportedly be hosted on MH-60R helicopters.

It can carry a 100 kg warhead and can travel at 0.8 Mach sub-sonic speed. The new missile is set to strengthen offensive capability of the Indian Navy. It has a launch altitude of maximum of 3 km and can skim 5 metres above sea level when on final approach to the target.

It can be fired from the shore at a ship in the sea. It can strategically target main areas of a large ship and make it dysfunctional.

It should be noted that DRDO has developed Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) Seeker systems for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles Nag, HELINA and MPATGM. IIR Seekers have also been successfully demonstrated in the Exo-Atmospheric Interceptor PDV and Anti Satellite Test (ASAT), Mission Shakti.

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