By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
Image(s) Credit(s): Indian Defence Research Wing (IDRW.org)
December 28, 2021
India recently successfully tested it’s new Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) anti-ship/anti-submarine rocket torpedo weapon system for potential future naval warfare applications against the Chinese Navy, as tensions rise in the Indo-Pacific region. So, what we’ve got here is some pretty serious naval weapons capability flexing to let China know that India won’t just lay down as China flexes its own naval muscle.
SMART is similar in approach to the U.S. Navy’s RUM-139 Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (VL ASROC), Russian RPK-9 Medvedka, and Chinese CY-1. Basically the Indian SMART missile-launched torpedo is delivered to the target area via the aforementioned missile, and then dropped gently into the water via parachute. Once in the water, the SMART torpedo does what a torpedo does, seek and home in on the target, and destroy it.
According to India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), “this canister-based missile system consists of advanced technologies — two stage solid propulsion, electro-mechanical actuators and precision inertial navigation.” Interestingly, the SMART ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) weapon system can be launched from land-based coastal defense locations, as well as surface ships.
It should be noted that SMART was first tested in October 2020, but the most recent (succesful) tests were, again, likely performed to send a clear message to China to stay out of its backyard. “Officials said that 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,” writes the Indian Express.
It should also be noted that India “also beefing up its ASW capabilities with the purchase of 18 U.S.-made P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, the Indian version of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon. The P-8I replaced the Indian Navy’s aging Russian-made Tu-142 patrol planes,” according to 1945.
So, it looks like India will be joining the United States and Japan in checking Chinese naval aggression moving forward, and that’s a good thing.
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