HomeAatmanirbhar BharatDRDO marching ahead in the Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Program, with test...

DRDO marching ahead in the Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Program, with test likely on next month

Source : IgMp Bureau

DRDO marching ahead in the Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Program, with test likely on next month

India takes a significant stride towards robust underwater deterrence as the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) propels the Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) program forward. This initiative, promising diverse capabilities and extended ranges, aims to empower both conventional and nuclear submarines with a formidable offensive punch.

Milestones Achieved and Future Trials

The successful test of a torpedo-launched SLCM last year marked a crucial milestone. With a current range of 402 km, the missile is poised for further trials, aiming to push its reach to 500 km initially and eventually an impressive 800+ km. This initial focus targets equipping older diesel submarines, underscoring DRDO’s commitment to enhancing legacy platforms.

Ambitious Plans for Future Submarine Projects

DRDO’s ambitions extend beyond the present. The vision includes longer-range SLCMs launched through Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for upcoming submarine projects such as Project-76 (Indigenous Conventional-diesel class) and Project-75 Alpha (Nuclear-powered attack submarines). The “Advance SLCM” program is anticipated to strike targets at staggering distances of 1500-2000 km, allowing submarines to launch attacks while safely submerged, far from enemy shores.

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Supersonic SLCMs: A Technological Leap

DRDO’s aspirations also involve developing supersonic SLCMs for both programs, introducing an extra layer of complexity and lethality. Imagining the impact of a supersonic missile launched from the depths of the ocean portrays a formidable challenge for any adversary.

Strategic Significance

The SLCM program holds immense strategic significance for India:

  • Deterrence: A robust SLCM capability enhances India’s deterrence posture, deterring potential threats and promoting regional stability.
  • Operational Flexibility: Longer ranges and varied launch options provide submarines with greater operational flexibility, enabling them to strike from diverse locations and evade detection.
  • Technological Advancement: The program fosters India’s self-reliance in critical underwater technologies, reducing dependence on imports and bolstering its strategic autonomy.

Despite challenges in refining and integrating these systems, the successful test of the initial SLCM and DRDO’s ambitious roadmap demonstrate a clear commitment to strengthening India’s underwater deterrence capabilities. The SLCM program is poised to be a game-changer, empowering India’s submarines with enhanced power and reach, thereby safeguarding its maritime interests and contributing to regional security.

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