The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been permitted to create a homegrown anti-ship missile in order to close the vast capability gap between the Indian Navy and the PLA Navy (PLAN). The NASM-MR is an extended-range version of the Harpoon class anti-ship missile.
The People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) may be seeking to challenge the Indian military on the Himalayan front. Still, the real struggle for dominance between these two Asian powers is taking place in the Indian Ocean.
Yet, in its current form, the PLA Navy has already surpassed the Indian Navy by a significant margin (PLAN). China has recently invested heavily in the PLAN, which has resulted in it becoming the largest Navy in the world in terms of ship numbers.
This missile, designated Naval Anti-ship Missile-Medium range (NASM-MR), is being created as part of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat program. The Indian military’s dedication to indigenization in the defense sector is further demonstrated by this development, which is seen as a major step toward greater Indian independence in niche missile technology.
The NASM-MR is an extended-range variant of the Harpoon class of anti-ship missiles. To begin, it will be designed as a missile that can be launched from fixed-wing fighter jets and Maritime Patrol Aircraft and can reach targets hundreds of kilometers away and engage them in all weather conditions and from a great distance.
On the other hand, three other NASM-MR variants are now in development.
Thanks to the addition of a solid-fuel rocket booster, the NASM-MR can hit targets up to 350 km away. The missile will also be cannisterised and designed to attack small- to medium-sized warships such as frigates, corvettes, and destroyers.
The third type of missile will consist of a solid-fuel rocket booster housed inside a submarine-fireable launch capsule. However, the anti-ship missile launched from a submarine may have a range that is 100 kilometers shorter than the ship-based missile.