Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo System (SMART)
On December 13, 2021 India’s DRDO successfully test fired Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo System (SMART) from Abdul Kalam Island, off the Odisha coast.
During the mission, full range capability of the missile was successfully demonstrated.
What is torpedo?
Self-propelled weapons that travel underwater to hit the target and can be fired from either above or under the water surface.
It is most important warfare tool for anti-submarine operations.
Need of SMART system
The operations of torpedoes are limited by their range.
SMART system was designed to overcome this constraint. In 2010 DRDO decided to set up an ambitious project to build capacity to launch torpedoes assisted by missiles.
This SMART system comprises a mechanism by which the torpedo is launched from an existing supersonic missile system.
It takes the torpedo to a much longer range than its own. For example, a torpedo which of 50 km range can be taken to a distance of 1000 km by the missile system, from where the torpedo can be launched.
It will also not only build the capability to fire the torpedo beyond its range but will also give flexibility in terms of the launch platform that comes with the missile system.
How the SMART works?
At first a supersonic missile carrying a torpedo with a parachute delivery system along with other complex modifications is launched from a launch platform including canister based launch.
It covers most of its flight in the air at lower altitudes with two-way data link from the warship or an airborne submarine target detection system.
The data link also provides the exact location of the hostile submarine to the missile so that it can correct its flight path midway.
Just when it approaches close enough to the submerged submarine, the missile will eject the torpedo system into the water and the autonomous torpedo will start moving towards its target to take out the submarine.
India’s capacity building in the area of anti-submarine warfare is crucial in the light of China’s aggressive deployment of naval assets in general and submarines in particular in the Indian Ocean Region.
When the SMART system is deployed, it would give India the capability of firing torpedoes at adversary naval assets from far beyond the torpedo range.