India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully test-fired an indigenous stand-off smart anti-airfield weapon (SAAW).
Conducted off the coast of the Indian state of Odisha, the aircraft-launched precision strike weapon system was fired from the company owned Hawk-i aircraft.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), SAAW is the first smart weapon to be fired from a Hawk-Mk132 aircraft.
The weapon was launched in a ‘textbook manner’ from the aircraft flown by HAL test pilots and retired wing commanders P Awasthi and M Patel.
All mission events were captured by telemetry and tracking systems and confirmed the trials were successful.
HAL CMD R Madhavan stated: “HAL has been focusing on the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
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“The company owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs.”
HAL Engineering and R&D director Arup Chatterjee said that the state-owned firm is working on improving the aircraft’s training and combat capabilities.
The company is also exploring the integration of several weapon systems on Hawk platform and aims to transform Hawk-i into an Advanced Jet Trainer.
Weighing about 125kg, SAAW weapon system has a range of around 100km.
It is used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers and taxi tracks within its range.
In August 2018, India test-fired SAAW precision-guided bomb from IAF’s Jaguar aircraft.
HAL launched the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132 trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force in January 2017.