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Explained: India’s First Anti-Radiation Missile- Rudram-1

On Friday (9th October 2020), India successfully tested its first indigenous Anti-radiation missile Rudram-1. It was tested from Sukhoi-30 MKI off the Odisha coast. With this, India has joined the elite club of nations having their own Anti-radiation missile (ARM).

  • This article will explain what is an ARM? What’s its importance in aerial warfare? How it can make an enemy blind? Rudram’s development to date and what will be its future? Which other nations across the world have this capability? Who are the Rudram’s counterparts across the globe? Lastly how this will give a boost to India’s firepower amidst the ongoing scenario?

What Is An Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM)?

Anti-radiation missile aims to target emitting radio frequencies. These include the enemy’s radars, communication assets, and also other radio frequency sources. These assets are mostly part of the air-defence system. Thus ARMs can seriously disrupt enemy air defence. It can also disrupt crucial communication and surveillance networks of the enemy.

Rudram-1’s Development-

DRDO started Rudram-1’s development in 2012. It is an air-to-surface missile. DRDO, HAL as well as IAF have worked out for the integration of this missile in the fighter jet. Sukhoi-30 MKI fired the missile in the recent test. But this system is capable of integrating into other fighter jets also. These include the Mirage-2000, LCA Tejas, LCA Mk 2 as well as Jaguar.

Rudram-1 on a fighter jet
Rudram-1 on a fighter jet

Capabilities Of Rudram-1

  • Operational range– 100 to 250 km
  • Flight altitude- 15 km to 500 m
  • Max. Speed- Mach 2+
  • Accuracy- 10 m CEP (Circular error probability)
  • Mass- 140 kg
  • Length- 5.5 m (18 ft)
  • Propellent- solid fuel

Officials said that once Rudram-1 locks on its target, it can precisely destroy it even if the radiation source switches off in between.

What Is The Importance Of ARM In An Aerial Warfare?

Anti-radiation missiles enhance the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability. Anti-radiation missiles are used in the initial part of the conflict to take out the air defence assets of the enemy. It is also used in the later part to enhance the survivability of our own aircraft.

Destroying the enemy’s early warning systems, command and control system and air defence can be a crucial lead in any conflict scenario. This can make an enemy virtually ‘blind’ as these systems act as eyes as well as ears for their crucial operations.

ARMs Across The World-

Anti-radiation missiles can be developed into different variants. These can be-

  • Air-to-surface
  • Air-to-air
  • Surface-to-air
US AGM-88 HARM missile on FA-18C
US AGM-88 HARM missile on FA-18C

Following are the countries with their indigenous Anti-radiation missile.

  • US- AGM-88 High-speed Anti-radiation (HARM) missile
  • Britain- Air Launched Anti-radiation Missile (ALARM)
  • Russia- Kh-58
  • Taiwan- Sky or TC-2
  • Iran- Hormuz-2
  • China- FT-2000

With successful test of Rudram-1, India is ready to join thus elite club having this sophisticated technology.

A Boost To India’s Firepower By Rudram-1

Rudram-1 was test fired froM Sukhoi-30 MKI
Rudram-1 was test fired froM Sukhoi-30 MKI

Currently, there are ongoing tensions along India’s borders. Amidst the ongoing stand-off with China, there are reports that China and Pakistan are joining hands to set up missile bases in PoK. These developments are really worrying. Thus India needs full preparation to counter any misadventure by its adversaries.

Various missile systems like Rudram-1 can be crucial in dealing with any situation. Since last month India is doing back to back tests of various missile systems. This is a sign that the pace of development and induction of these missiles are significantly increasing.

The test of Rudram-1 is one of such tests. However, in the coming weeks we can expect more tests of Rudram-1 before it’s final induction into Indian Air Force.


Prasad Gore

A defence enthusiast. Writing on Defence, Aviation and International Relations. M.A., NET (Defence and strategic studies).

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