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Context: India successfully conducted the flight test of a Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

About the test:

  • The Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) was tested from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast.

  • An anti-submarine torpedo of the lightweight category was used.
  • It met all the objectives “flawlessly”.
  • Institutes involved in the experiment: A number of DRDO laboratories including DRDL, RCI Hyderabad, ADRDE Agra and NSTL Visakhapatnam have developed the technologies required for SMART

SMART system

  • The system comprises a mechanism by which the torpedo is launched from a supersonic missile system with modifications that would take the torpedo to a far longer range than its normal range. 
  • Torpedoes are self-propelled weapons that travel underwater to hit a target.
  • They are limited by their range. 
  • In the mid-2010s, DRDO undertook a project to build capacity to launch torpedoes assisted by missiles.

Recent naval advancements by India

  • Recently indigenously developed nuclear capable hypersonic missile ‘Shaurya’ with a strike range of around 1,000 km was tested successfully.
    • Shaurya is a land-based parallel of the submarine-launched K-15 missile.
  • DRDO recently conducted two successful tests of the K Family’s K-4 missiles
    • The missile, developed by the DRDO, has a range of 3,500 km.
    • The missile is being developed for integration with India's Arihant class nuclear submarines.
  • The Navy has concluded the contract for the Advanced Torpedo Decoy System Maareech, capable of being fired from all frontline warships. 
  • The nuclear-powered Arihant submarine and its class members in the pipeline are assets capable of launching missiles with nuclear warheads.

Significance:

  • SMART is a game-changing technology demonstration in anti-submarine warfare. 
  • India’s anti-submarine warfare capacity building is crucial in light of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The capability of launching nuclear weapons from submarine platforms has great strategic importance in light of the “no first use” policy of India.

Image source: Indian Express