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Parting shot: Very short-range air-defence missile

Very short-range air-defence system missile. (Janes)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two of its very short-range air-defence system (VSHORADS) missiles in March 2023. The flight tests were the second development trial of the missile.

VSHORADS is a manportable air-defence system (MANPADS) designed and developed by the DRDO and Indian industry partners. VSHORADS was first test-fired in September 2022.

According to the DRDO, VSHORADS is a fourth-generation weapon system equipped with a dual-thrust rocket propulsion system. The dual-thrust mode is adopted in solid propellant rocket propulsion through tailoring of the burning area, nozzle, rocket motor chamber, propellant type, and multiple propellant blocks, the DRDO said.

The DRDO seeks to deliver a higher specific impulse for a higher speed of ejection of the propellant with the use of dual-thrust level motors in VSHORADS. An imaging infrared (IIR) seeker-based system is fitted on the tip of the VSHORADS missile, the DRDO added.

According to the DRDO, the missile has a length of 2 m, a diameter of 0.09 m, and a weight of 21 kg, and it incorporates technologies such as a miniaturised reaction control system (RCS) to increase mid-air manoeuvrability and integrated avionics.

The missile is capable of carrying a pre-fragmentation (PF) warhead of up to 2 kg, the DRDO said. It added, β€œThe PF warhead consists of a kill mechanism, which comprises a metallic casing in which preformed fragments are embedded in a resin matrix. On detonation of the warhead, fragments are ejected out with high velocity, which penetrates into the target and causes the requisite damages.”

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