BHUBANESWAR: In a major boost to self reliance in aerospace and aeronautics industry, India on Thursday successfully test fired Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Hawk-i aircraft off Odisha coast.
The indigenously developed SAAW was the first stand-off smart weapon to be fired from Hawk-Mk132 aircraft built by the state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The 1.85 metre long weapon with a dummy warhead was dropped from the aircraft flying at about one km above the surface and it glided over the sea before zeroing on the pre-designated target area at about 100 km away.
The aircraft flown by HAL test pilots Wg Cdr (Retd) P Awasti and Wg Cdr (Retd) M Patel executed the weapon release in a test book manner and all mission objectives were met. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all mission events confirming the success of the test flight.
The SAAW is India's first indigenous anti-airfield weapon that has been designed and developed by DRDO. It is an aircraft-launched and advanced precision strike weapon of 125 kg category used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks and runways within a range of 100 km.
The light weight weapon with inertial guidance operates in 'fire and forget' principle. Carrying high explosive warhead, it can penetrate deep into the enemy territory with an error probability of less than three metre. The guided weapon was earlier test fired successfully from Jaguar aircraft.
CMD of HAL R Madhavan said it is a major shot in the arm for the country's goal of achieving self reliance in the defence sector. The company owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed by DRDO and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research labs, he said.
The Hawk-i is HAL's internally funded programme offering the Indian Armed Forces an upgrade and combat capability for the Hawk aircraft, transforming it into an advanced jet trainer providing training on sensors and weapons in peacetime and into a potent combat platform during conflict.
Director of Engineering and R&D Arun Chatterjee said the HAL is enhancing the training and combat capability of Hawk-i.
"The HAL is also in discussion with Indian armed forces for integration of various weapons on Hawk platform," he added.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)