By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Apr 7:
The Extended Range Anti Submarine Rocket (ER-ASR) designed by Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), was successfully test-fired for the first time from Indian Navy’s destroyer INS Chennai on Monday, official sources stated.
The rocket system has been developed by the ARDE and HEMRL, the facilities of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to replace the existing Russian-origin Rocket Guided Bombs (RGBs). The system has been developed to enhance the range of the existing RGB-60 Anti Submarine Rocket from 5.3 km to 8.0+ km. It consists of two motor propulsion systems that can fire the rocket in Short Range mode and Long Range mode to achieve different range capabilities from 500 m to 8900m. The rocket will be titled RBU 6000.
During the maiden tests, the performance of the rocket system was evaluated at the short range of 2.7 km and in long-range mode at 8.5 km. The trajectory of rockets was tracked by onboard radar and telemetry systems. The underwater blast effect of the warhead was confirmed by the onboard sonar system. The rocket system will be deployed in anti-submarine operations and will be fired from an indigenized rocket launcher mounted onboard various Indian naval ships.
The DRDO has devised the rocket system to penetrate 10 to 350 mtrs deep underwater submarines. It can be fired in single or in salvo mode depending on the tactical mission requirements.
The maiden successful test from the ship is a step towards enhancing the capability of the Indian Navy in anti-submarine warfare and towards achieving ‘Atma Nirbharta’ (self-reliance) in defense, DRDO officials said.
Earlier India used to import the RGBs from Russia. Now the DRDO is working on a mission mode and all the tests of ER-ASR are expected to be completed by June 2024. The Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited will be a partner in this joint venture.