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By Bulbul Singh

27 Sep 11. Indian scientists have completed tests on an hypersonic missile named Shourya which can travel at Mach 7.5. The last test was conducted this month from the missile testing range in the north eastern state of Orissa. The missile can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and can be used by both the Indian Navy and the Indian Army.

Shourya is a land version of the indigenous K-15 land attack missile. While the K-15 missile is designed to be fired from submarines, Shourya can fire from land. Sources said, “Shourya has been developed with the help of the Russians, though no details are known.”

Sources also said that Shourya can reach up to a range of over 2000 kilometers and cannot be detected by satellites.

Shourya can be stored in a composite canister, which makes it much easier to store for long periods without maintenance as well as to handle and transport.

The mobile missile can be launched from silos and canisters mounted on a truck and also fixed on the ground.

The missile has been developed by DRDO and with the testing phase over, the missile will enter the production phase where it will be manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited.

The missile is ten meters long, 74 cm in diameter and weighs 6.2 tonnes. Its two stages use solid propellants and have characteristics of both ballistic and cruise missiles. Shourya can cruise at high altitude at hypersonic speed and then hit the target at very high speed after making manoeuvres to confuse the enemy. Shourya can zero to the target using sophisticated guidance techniques which gives it the characteristic of a cruise missile.

DRDO scientists are upbeat by the indigenous navigation system with the help of a ring-laser gyroscope which the scientists claim is one of the best of its kind.

In the test flight the missile rose to a height of around 50 kilometers and then cruised towards its target at Mach 7.5.

Indian scientists tested another advanced missile Prahaar in July, (which is comparable to the U.S. ATCAMS missile), can carry multiple payloads weighting 200 kilograms and can be fired in one salvo from mobile land systems, in one salvo, six missiles can be fired at multiple targets in all directions covering the entire azimuth plane

Prahaar fills the gap between the Pinaka multi-rocket launcher with a range of 40 kilometers and the Prithvi missile with a range of 250 kilometers.

Shourya and Prahar are not part of the Integrated Missile Development Programme, which India undertook in the 1980’s under which Indian scientists have developed the Agni and Prithvi series of ballistic missiles and the Nag anti-tank and Akash theatre missiles.

“While the Integrated Missile Development Programme has been officially closed, India has undertaken development of missiles, mainly with the help of Israel and Russia. In addition more missile development programmes are planned in the near future, with the help of overseas defence companies,” said sources.

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