The Indian Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has added another feather to its cap by successfully testing a newer version of the venerable hypersonic “Shaurya” missile on Saturday.
The new version of the missile is stated to be capable of engaging targets out to 800 kilometers and is lighter and reportedly easier to operate in comparison to the existing versions.
“The new version of the missile will be inducted in the strategic forces to complement one of the existing missiles in the same class,” reported ANI quoting its sources.
Shaurya is said to be the land-based version of submarine-launched K-15 Sagarika nuclear-capable ballistic missile, forming part of India’s nuclear triad. Experts have speculated that the Shaurya might have a lot longer range than declared and that the range depends upon the weight of payload used.
Being a hypersonic missile, it would be virtually impossible for the existing conventional air defense systems to intercept Shaurya. India is one of the only few nations in the world to have successfully developed and inducted a hypersonic missile in its inventory in active service. It is to be noted that the missile is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads.
The Indian DRDO has been on a spree to test and develop new technologies and improvise existing ones after the “Aatmnirbhar Bharat” drive started by the government. Recently, India had test-fired a newer version of the supersonic BrahMos missile too, which could strike targets at ranges up to 400 kilometers with pinpoint accuracy, giving it an increase of 100 kilometers compared to the previous iterations.
Successful tests for Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) were also carried out earlier in September when the vehicle achieved a velocity of 2 kilometers per second. Later on 22nd September and on 1st October a Cannon-Launched Guided Missile was also test-fired from the Arjun tank, giving it the crucial ability after the Israeli LAHAT missile failed to achieve satisfactory results from the rifled barrel of the Indian tank.
The tests come at a time when India and China (PRC) are facing each other eye to eye in a standoff at their Himalayan borders. One of the skirmishes took place in the late hours of 15th June resulted in 20 Indian and an unspecified number of PLA troops. It was also reported that India had deployed its Nirbhay and BrahMos cruise missiles along the LAC to mirror similar Chinese deployments. You can read the full report about the deployments here.