HomeIndian DefenceArmy is moving on with a Rs 6800 crore desi shoulder-fired missile...

Army is moving on with a Rs 6800 crore desi shoulder-fired missile project for the borders of China and Pakistan

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The Indian Army is advancing two cases totaling more than Rs 6,800 crore for the development of Very Short Range Air Defence Systems domestically in light of a scarcity of shoulder-fired missiles to counter aerial threats on borders with China and Pakistan.
The Army intends to construct and purchase more than 500 launchers and around 3000 missiles using domestic suppliers. In the meantime, given the delays in finding a replacement for the outdated Igla-1M missiles, the Indian Army and other interested parties are considering the idea of reviving an earlier tender in which the Russian Igla-S was chosen.

According to representatives of the Defense Ministry, the Igla 1M VSHORAD missile system was introduced in 1989 and was scheduled for de-induction in 2013. The present VSHORAD missiles in the inventory of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force are all equipped with lR homing guidance systems.

“At present, there is a Rs 4800 crore project in which a public sector unit headquartered in Hyderabad and a private sector Pune-based firm have been engaged for developing a laser beam riding VSHORADS which would be used by the forces to protect the borders to provide protection from enemy drones, fighter aircraft and choppers,” defence forces’ officials told ANI.

The Indian Army, which is the project’s primary user and will get the majority of the project’s 1200 missiles and 200 launchers, will lead the development of these weapons for the Indian Air Force and Army. It is anticipated that it will receive 700 of the 1200 missiles that are intended to be included in the project; the remainder will go to the IAF.

According to them, the two companies are required by the Defence Acquisition Procedure’s Indian Designed, Developed, and Manufactured provision to create the system’s prototype. Industry sources have, however, reported that this program’s progress has not been very encouraging. The Design and Development project, which is being carried out by the DRDO to create an infra-red homing-based VSHORADS, is another initiative that is being advanced.AdDefence and I-Comm, two of the DRDO’s development and production partners, are collaborating with the former to create Laser Beam Riding Vessels. According to the officials, the DRDO has tested the system using a tripod, and they are now anticipated to reduce the system’s size so that it may be launched from the shoulder. Meanwhile, the Indian Army and Air Force purchased about 96 Russian Igla launchers under its Emergency Procurement powers. Of these, 48 have already arrived as part of the first batch of purchases placed under EP-1, and the remaining 48 are scheduled to come soon. A proposal to resurrect the contract, which was abandoned more than five years ago, has also been made in the interim. In that deal, the Russian side was the lowest bidder, offering its Igla-S system.

Meetings amongst project stakeholders are anticipated shortly to discuss how to implement the project under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The Defence Ministry canceled a project that was estimated to be valued about Rs 4,800 crore.

According to representatives of the Defense Ministry, the value and adaptability of “VSHORAD missiles have been regularly proven in battle, including the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict.” The Indian military has been moving forward with replacing their antiquated VSHORADS system.

[With ANI inputs]

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