Indian Navy uses Sea King to progress NASM-SR missile trials

In partnership with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Indian Navy carried out guided flight trials of its indigenously developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Short Range (NASM-SR) on November 21, when the weapon was fired from a Sea King Mk 42B anti-submarine/surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) helicopter for the second time.

An Indian Navy Sea King Mk 42B (IN529/W) from INAS 336 'Flaming Arrows' at INS Garuda, Kochi, is seen carrying a NASM-SR anti-ship missile during the indigenously developed weapon's second flight trial on November 21, 2023.
An Indian Navy Sea King Mk 42B (IN529/W) from INAS 336 'Flaming Arrows' at INS Garuda, Kochi, is seen carrying a NASM-SR anti-ship missile during the indigenously developed weapon's second flight trial on November 21, 2023. Indian Navy

According to the Indian Navy – which took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the successful completion of its latest test launch – this trial marked “a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile [technology, including] seeker and guidance [technology],” while also sharing images and video footage of the NASM-SR being launched from Sea King Mk 42B (IN529/W) over an undisclosed test range off the Indian coast. The Sea King Mk 42B used for this trial is operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 336 ‘Flaming Arrows’, which is based at Indian Naval Station (INS) Garuda in Kochi.

The successful completion of this guided flight trial comes more than a year after the NASM-SR completed its inaugural test launch at the DRDO’s Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur – located off the coast of Odisha – on May 18, 2022, when it was first launched from a Sea King Mk 42B. This initial test was successful, with the anti-ship missile also demonstrating its sea skimming capability – where it approached its designated target at just 5m above sea level. This test also validated the munition’s accuracy, control, guidance and mission algorithms.

The Indian Navy's new indigenously developed NASM-SR anti-ship missile is launched from Sea King Mk 42B (IN529/W) for its guided flight trial on November 21, 2023.
The Indian Navy's new indigenously developed NASM-SR anti-ship missile is launched from Sea King Mk 42B (IN529/W) for its guided flight trial on November 21, 2023. Indian Navy

Developed domestically as part of a collaborative effort between the Indian Navy and DRDO, the NASM-SR will be India’s first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile and is designed to be launched from helicopters. While the munition is currently being trialled by the Indian Navy’s outgoing Sea King fleet, it will eventually be equipped on the service’s newly acquired fleet of MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission maritime helicopters. The Indian Navy currently maintains two Sea King squadrons, comprising INAS 330 ‘Harpoons’ at INS Shikra in Mumbai and INAS 336 ‘Flaming Arrows’ at INS Garuda.