Missile-Assisted Torpedo Release System

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in News?
  • What is Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedoes (SMART)?

Why in News?

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully tested a long-range Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo (SMART). It is aimed at boosting the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

What is Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedoes (SMART)?

  • Background: Torpedo
    • Torpedoes, self-propelled weapons that travel underwater to hit a target, are limited by their range. 
    • In the mid-2010s, DRDO undertook a project to build capacity to launch torpedoes assisted by missiles.
  • About SMART
    • SMART system comprises a mechanism by which the torpedo is launched from a supersonic missile system with modifications.
    • These modifications would take the torpedo to a far longer range than its own.
    • For example, a torpedo with a range of a few kilometres can be sent a distance to the tune of 1000 km by the missile system from where the torpedo is launched.
  • Institutions involved
    • A number of DRDO laboratories have developed the technologies required for SMART. These include: 
      • Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), both in Hyderabad; 
      • Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) in Agra; and 
      • Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL) Visakhapatnam.
  • Features
    • The system can be launched from both coasts and warships.
    • The canister-based missile system comprises several advanced subsystems including two-stage solid propulsion and precision inertial navigation. 
      • Canister enables smooth and safe launch of article. Also, canister serves the purpose of transportation, storage and launching of missiles. 
      • These Canisters are filled with inert gases to provide protection from outside environment during Storage and transportation.
    • It carries an advanced lightweight torpedo missile as a payload along with a parachute-based release mechanism.
  • Significance
    • This missile-based mechanism to launch lightweight torpedoes can target submarines hundreds of kilometres away — far beyond the conventional range of lightweight torpedoes. 
    • It will be particularly employed in the absence of other assets for immediate action when an enemy submarine is detected.

Q.1. What is Torpedo?

A torpedo is a self-propelled, cigar-shaped underwater missile that is launched from a submarine, surface vessel, or airplane to destroy ships by rupturing their hulls below the waterline.

Q.2. What is DRDO?

DRDO stands for Defence Research and Development Organisation, and it is India's largest research organization. It is an agency under the Ministry of Defence, and its headquarters are in New Delhi.