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India successfully tests new version of air-launched medium-range ballistic missile

The successful launch of the new variant of a medium-range ballistic missile was carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command on Tuesday.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: April 23, 2024 21:10 IST
ballistic missile, India Defence
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Representative image

New Delhi: In a significant enhancement of its capabilities, India on Tuesday (April 23) successfully conducted a test firing of a new version of an air-launched medium-range ballistic missile capable of striking targets at distances exceeding 250 km. The missile tested by the Indian Air Force in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the Israeli-origin Crystal Maze 2 air-launched ballistic missile, also known as ROCKS.

According to the Ministry of Defence,  the test firing was conducted under the aegis of the strategic forces command. "A successful launch of the new variant of a medium-range ballistic missile was carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command on April 23. The user launch has proven the operational capability of the Command and validated new technologies," the ministry said in a brief statement.

Missile was test-fired by a Su-30 MKI fighter jet

Senior sources in the national security establishment told the news agency ANI that the missile was successfully test-fired by a Su-30 MKI fighter jet at a test range in the island's territory in the Andamans. The preparations for the test firing were conducted in the area falling under the tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command, currently overseen by an Air Force officer.

The Indian Air Force is now planning to get Israeli missiles in significant quantities through the Make in India initiative, as it provides a unique capability. The missile, which was fired from a Su-30 fighter by the IAF, travels upwards and then moves towards its target at high speeds.

Crystal Maze 2

The Crystal Maze 2 is different from the previously inducted Crystal Maze 1 in the Indian Air Force, originating from Israel.

The Crystal Maze 2 is an extended stand-off range air-to-surface missile and is planned to be used by the IAF to strike high-value stationary and relocatable targets like the long-range radars and air defence systems of Indian adversaries.

This missile is claimed to be effective in GPS-denied environments, such as those encountered during the Kargil War, and is capable of neutralizing targets even in regions defended by air defense systems.

(With ANI inputs)

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