As the world enters the final days of 2022, India has had a spectacular year reviewing missile systems, raising its bar on the international stage.
In 2023, India will conduct additional missile tests and disclose its newly developed missile defence systems, which have been in the works for some time.
We have developed a list of missile systems that are in advanced stages of development and are slated to conduct their first developmental flights in 2023.
In 2022, we received confirmation that India has begun captive and operational testing of the forthcoming Astra Mk2, a beyond visual range air-to-air missile with a reported range of 160+ kilometres.
Mk2 will be the first Indian air-to-air missile to have AESA-based Seeker, which will enhance its capacity to attack targets in the final few seconds of an engagement and welcome India into an elite club of nations with the ability to hit aerial targets at such distances.
Captive flight testing of Rudram-II, which has a range of 300km when launched from 15km altitude at Mach 0.8, was completed in 2022, and in the same year, tenders were issued for the supply of airframes, IIR seekers, warheads, and other components for the fabrication of initial batches of missiles system to conduct developmental trials of the missile.
By the end of 2023, we will likely witness the first developmental trials of the Su-30MKI aircraft’s armament systems.
Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Medium Range, an anti-ship missile with a range of 150+ kilometres, has been developed for several years, and according to tender issues in 2022, the weapon system will soon be under fabrication and will likely be prepared for captive and flight release trials in 2023, with a developmental test conducted by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.
Vehicle for Defence Application (Veda) is a little-discussed programme, but we all know that it is a Defense satellite launch vehicle that will be used to inject Nano-satellites that can be rapidly reconfigured for a range of Defense utility configurations.
Road transportable Defense satellite launch vehicles will allow India to launch on demand from practically any stretch of land suitable for such launches, especially in the case of conflict and a dearth of present Defense satellites. Since VEDA is based on proven missile systems such as K-4 and Agni-5, India already has the necessary technology to begin testing it in 2023.
Numerous false alarms in 2022 suggested that India’s secret submarine-launched ballistic missile programme had added another member to its K Family, but this was not the case. Since 2015, K-5 has been in development, and it is either nearing or has already began a few short-range experiments, however this is not confirmed.
With the appearance of the S4 and S4*(Star) Class of submarines, it is extremely probable that developmental testing of the K-5, India’s longest SLBM with a range of 5000-plus kilometres, will begin in 2023.