PC : Guarding India

As you all know that on 09 October 2020, India successfully tested a New generation Anti Radiation Missile which is also called Rudram from the Wheeler Island on the Odisha coast. Rudram missile is an air to surface missile which is a very unique missile of India that has been specially developed for destroying enemy radars so that in any war or Balakot like surgical strike India will be able to destroy enemy radars before they might be able to target Indian Air Force fighter jets. In this Guarding India Exclusive, we will cover the major features of the Rudram missile in great detail.

You can watch Guarding India YouTube video on Rudrtam Missile below or continue reading this article.

Before talking about the Rudram missile, one must realize that the radars are extremely important in any war because they are used to detect enemy fighter jets, ships, and ground movements. Radars are also used in enemy air defence systems and if we can destroy enemy air defence radars then Indian Air Force fighters will be able to attack anywhere any time. In air force language, the mission to destroy enemy air defences is called as suppression of enemy air defenses or SEAD.

SEAD missions are considered as the most dangerous mission of any air force because in this you repeatedly provoke enemy air defence radars and air defence missile systems so that they start tracking our fighters and attack them. The success of any SEAD mission is dependent upon a good anti-radiation missile and previously Indian Air Force had Russian Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles which were fired from Su-30 MKI and Mig-29 UPG fighters of the Indian Air Force.

Mig-29 UPG
Mig-29 UPG | PC: IAF/Guarding India

However, the Indian KH-31P missile with a range of around 110 kilometers was getting old and that is why the Indian Air Force wanted to purchase 1500 AGM 88E missiles which are also called HARM missiles. However, before this deal could be finalized DRDO developed a Rudram missile to replace the Kh-31P missile of the Indian Air Force.

kh-31 Missile
Kh-31 Missile | PC : Bharat Rakshak

Rudram missile which is also referred as New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM) is a very advanced missile which was specially developed to destroy enemy radars and military communication centers. Rudram missile has a range of 100 to 250 kilometers which also depends upon its launch altitude. Rudram Missile can be easily launched from any fighter jet flying at an altitude of 500 meters to 15 kilometers.

Rudram missile has both lock-on before launch and lock-on after launch modes due to which this missile can be launched without establishing a target lock on the enemy radar. Rudram missile has two types of guidance system. In the first phase of its flight Rudram missile uses the combination of the inertial navigation system (INS), American Global Positioning System (GPS), and Indian NAVIC satellite guidance systems. In the second phase of its flight, the Rudram missile uses a Passive Homing Head (PHH) seeker. This passive homing seeker detects enemy radar signals and uses it to guide the Rudram missile so that it can directly hit the enemy radar. This passive homing seeker has been developed by the DRDL laboratory of DRDO and it can detect enemy radar signals at 100 kilometers.

Sukhoi-30 MKI firing Rudram Missile
Sukhoi-30 MKI firing Rudram Missile | PC : IAF/Guarding India

Rudram missile is a single-stage missile that weighs around 140 kg. The design of this missile closely resembles the Astra missile air to air missile of India. Just like the Astra missile it also has cruciform wings which further enhances the maneuverability of this missile. Rudram missile has a variable thrust dual-pulsed solid rocket motor due to which this missile flies at the speed of Mach 2 or 2470 kilometers per hour. Finally, for destroying its target, the Rudram missile has been fitted with a pre-fragmented warhead which is activated by an optical proximity fuze. In a 2019 test, the Rudram missile hit its target with 10-meter accuracy despite being launched from 100-kilometers away. Therefore, it will be very difficult for enemy radars to hide from Rudram missile.

To date, in all its tests, the Rudram missile has been launched by Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters of the Indian Air Force and in the future, this missile will be integrated with other Indian Air Force fighters like Dassault Rafale, Dassault Mirage-2000, Jaguar, and HAL Tejas. Simultaneously in the future, DRDO is likely to increase the range of the Rudram missile and integrate many advanced seekers that will result in enhanced lethality

In addition to air-launched versions, a ground launch variant of the Rudram missile has been under development which will serve the Indian Army. In this version, a TEL with four Rudram missile will be used by the Indian Army for targeting enemy long-range battlefield surveillance radar and for the destruction of enemy communication centers so that hostile forces are unable to conduct network-centric warfare.

Finally, Team Guarding India is confident that due to its advanced passive homing seeker, fast speed, and long-range Rudram missile will emerge as a formidable predator of enemy radars and will prove to be an effective radar killer in any war. The best part is this capability is fully indigenous and can be easily upgraded.