India has successfully test-fired its indigenously developed light weight guided bomb, Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from an Indian Air Force aircraft at Chandan firing range near Pokhran in the state of Rajastan.
The weapon system was integrated with live warhead and has destroyed the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events. A total of three tests with different release conditions were conducted during 16 to 18 August 2018 and all the mission objectives have been achieved.
The weapon has undergone eight developmental trials till date and performance of system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated. SAAW is capable of destroying variety of ground targets using precision navigation.
Senior officials from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Air Force participated and witnessed the flight tests. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Indian Defence Minister, congratulated the agencies involved on the successful flight tests for further boosting the defence capabilities of the country.
DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)
DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon currently being developed by India’s state owned defence research agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The weapon is a lightweight high precision guided bomb designed to destroy ground targets, such as runways, bunkers, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures. Weighing 120 kg (260 lb) it has deep penetration capabilities, carries a high explosive warhead and has a standoff range of 100 kilometres (62 mi), which will allow users to strike targets, such as enemy airfields, at a safe distance without putting pilots and aircraft at risk.
SAAW is India’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon, being designed and developed wholly by DRDO. The SAAW is being developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), and other DRDO laboratories in collaboration with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The project was approved by the Indian government in 2013. The first successful test of the weapon was conducted in May 2016. Another successful test was conducted in November of the following year. This was followed by a series of three successful tests in December 2017.
The SAAW can currently be launched from the IAF’s SEPECAT Jaguar and Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft. The Jaguar is capable of carrying six such weapons. There are also plans to integrate the weapon with the Dassault Rafale when it is inducted into the Indian Air Force.