The DRDO is developing Naval AntiShipping Missile Short Range (NASM-SR) with a 55 km range for use from HAL Dhruv helicopter, Sea King helicopters and will be eventually equip with the MH-60R helicopters which India is presently procuring. It can be launched from fighter jets and Naval Maritime Patrol aircraft also. It is said that missile will be tested by mid of the year 2022.
The NASM will be an Indian alternative of far more expensive Western missiles like the Naval Strike, Marte ER, Sea Venom etc. The Indian Navy’s IMRH acquisition, MBDA pitched its Sea Venom which has a range of 25 km and also the Marte ER which can reach more than 100 km.
According to DRDO, the NASM-SR will be a 380 kg projectile with a maximum range of 55 km and used initially with Indian Navy Sea King helicopters, replacing the earlier Sea Eagle missiles. As the Sea King itself is approaching the end of its service life, it may be expected that the new indigenous missile will be in service with future helicopters of the Navy.
The existence of the Naval Anti-Ship Missile NASM SR was revealed in 2018 in the Lok Sabha. Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman named this in the list of DRDO developments and those at other Indian institutions over the past three years (January 2016-December 2018). Initial details were unveiled at the DefExpo 2020. This project is possibly being developed for a number of platforms, having different ranges. ‘SR’, or Short Range, means that development of other longer range versions is expected as well.
The NASM SR could certainly be considered for these potent platforms. The long range version of the NASM may have a range excess of 150 km, enabling engagement of hostile targets from stand-off distances.