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Trishul (Trident) air-defense missile

Development of Trishul missile was completed, and by 2006 DRDO was in dialogue with Indian Air Force for possible induction of Trishul missile after jointly developing the user trial criteria. Trishul was completed as a "Technology Demonstrator" due to delay in development of state-of-the-art technology and changes in requirement of the Armed Forces.

Trishul is intended to counter a low level attack with a very quick reaction time and has an all weather capability. Trishul has a range of 9 km and is designed to counter a low level attack with a very quick reaction time. It is all all-weather surface-to-air-missile which call, when employed with the fire Control Flycatcher radar, blow a hole in the enemy's plan. With a radar-altimeter in its warhead, Trishul can be used as an anti-sea skimmer missile. Trishul has been extensively tested by all three Services for target acquisition, ground system and infra-red guidance system. The Trishul Combat Vehicle, the indigenous launcher system using a radar mounted on a tracked vehicle, has gone into production.

TRISHUL flies in supersonic speed and has a low altitude sensitive radio-altimeter and height lock loop control onboard, to skim over the sea at a very low altitude and hit against sea skimming missiles coming towards our ships. The tracking and guidance have been fully achieved in millimetric band frequency and has necessary electronic counter measures. Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratories, BEL, BHEL, BDL and many other industries and naval establishments are partners in the development of the vertically launched Naval-TRISHUL system.

Shiv - the word meaning auspicious - is one of the Hindu Trinity, comprising of Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the Preserver and Shiv or Mahesh, the Destroyer and Re-Producer of life. Lord Shiv is portrayed as an ascetic, sitting on a tiger skin, a bunch of poisonous snakes coiled round his blue neck, his hair and his body. He received the waters of the sacred river Ganga that rushed down from heaven with an unimaginable force and ferocity in the coil of his hair on his head to save the world from total annihilation and released the water slowly on the plains to flow. Lord Shiv has a third eye in the centre of his forehead along with a crescent moon. His most powerful weapon is the Trishul, the trident.

India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was launched in July 1983. Initially, it had a budget of around Rs 400 crore, but it has since been revised Rs 800 crore. The major programs under the IGMDP are the development of missiles including Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and the Nag. The Sagarika and the Surya have since been added to the IGMDP.

By 1998 Trishul had undergone over two dozen developmental flight trials, and the missile was inducted into service in 1999. Trishul will be employed by Indian Army and Air Force against low flying aircraft. The Indian Navy will also use this weapon system in anti-missile role against Exocet and Harpoon possessed by Pakistan.

Naval version of TRISHUL was successfully flight tested in guidance mode as an anti sea skimmer against low altitude sea target. The flight test took place in May 1999 from the naval base of INS Dhronacharya at Cochin. The mission objectives were fully met. The flight earmarked a step towards users evaluation and induction of the TRISHUL system in the Navy by the year 2000.

By August 2001 induction of surface to air missiles 'Akash' and 'Trishul' had been delayed. The main reason for delay is the time taken for realization of state-of-the-art technology for guidance and propulsion. As these missiles are based on state-of-the-art technologies, these will enhance the combat capabilities of Indian Air Force.

The Naval version of the short-range Surface-to-Air Missile, "Trishul", was successfully flight tested at Kochi on 28 and 29 Jan 2002. The missile was tested in sea-skimming mode against low flying targets, establishing the capability of the system in the 'anti sea skimmer' role.

All the four flight tests of surface-to-air missile Trishul undertaken during 22-25 June 2002 achieved all mission objectives. The short range surface-to-air Trishul missiles were successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea.

It has not been decided to shelve the program. Trishul missile development program has been delayed due to technological problem and the project was de-linked from the user services. The Indian navy, which also plans to buy the missile, has resorted to buying the Barak missile system from Israel due to the delays in developing the Trishul, which originally was scheduled for user trials in 1991.

There is no proposal of downgrading the Trishul Missile project. The technical problems have been analysed and the requisite modifications affected in various guidance and sub-systems and in the composition of the propellant. Four Trishul missiles were launched in full combat configuration from a Trishul Combat Vehicle from June 22 to June 25, 2003 in the presence of the service officers. All flight objectives were met. It has been decided that further flight trials of Trishul will be carried out in association with the users.

Trishul is a quick reaction, low level missile system being developed in surface to air role with the capability to engage targets upto 9 km, and as anti sea skimming missile against low level missiles. The Trishul missile system being developed is common for all the three services. However, ground systems and launch platforms are different for the three users.

During some of the trials prior to June 2003, the Trishul missile system was not meeting all the desired parameters. The problem lay in the consistency of its guidance and control system. It was during that stage that the Navy was allowed to import through a fast-paced reanalysis in the R&D mode.

Having overcome the technological problems, Trishul missile was readied for the launches during June 2003. All the missile sub-systems, air frames, controls, integrated with ground control system of the combat vehicle etc. - worked as expected - achieving mis-distance against moving targets better than the one specified.

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Page last modified: 27-02-2014 18:50:59 ZULU