Friday, December 19, 2008

Indian military tests Smerch MLRS

Indian defence scientists have successfully tested the Russian-manufactured Smerch (Tornado) Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

At least five tests, which gauged flight stability, accuracy and consistency, were held at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur. 

"The Smerch can launch 12 rockets at a time," a defence scientist told Express Buzz. "It is able to fire single rockets or salvo from two to all 12 rockets. A full salvo lasts 38 seconds."

The scientist also explained that the MLRS was capable of launching surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles. "The system can be integrated with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide a new dimension to artillery defence system," he added.

According to Army Technology, the 9K58 Smerch 300mm MLRS was designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artillery and missile systems. The MLRS fires a 300mm 9M55K rocket with a solid propellant rocket motor capable of a 20-70km range.

The 9M55K rocket, which measures 7.5m in length and weighs over 800kg, can be fitted with a warhead containing 72 HE-FRAG (High-Explosive Fragmentation) submunitions. Alternatively, the rocket is capable of handling a HE-FRAG separable unitary warhead as well as five Bazalt MOTIV-3F anti-armour submunitions.

It should be noted that the Indian Army  test-fired a modernised Smerch-M system in 2002, which featured an automatic rocket preparing and launching system, along with an increased projectile range of up to 90km.  X

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