In an effort to shore up the air defence systems all along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) facing China, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the proposal for procurement of VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system under design and development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO). In view of the recent developments along the Northern borders(China) there is a need to focus on effective Air Defence (AD) weapon systems which are man portable and can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain and maritime domain. Procurement of VSHORAD, as a robust and quickly deployable system, will strengthen the Air Defence capabilities.
About The Timeline of This Procurement:
India has been in talks with Russia since 2018 to procure the Igla-S air defence missiles at a cost of $1.5 billion under the VSHORAD programme in a bid to replace the Russian Igla-M systems which have been in use with the Army. However, with a strong pitch for ‘Atmanirbharta’ in defence, there has been little progress on this front in the last two years, with sources indicating that the deal has been put on hold for now.
About Very Short Range Air Defence System or VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system:
- It is a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS).
- These are short-range, lightweight and portable surface-to-air missiles that can be fired by individuals or small groups to destroy aircraft or helicopters.
- They are having a maximum range of 8 kilometres and can engage targets at altitudes of 4.5 km.
- The missile incorporates many novel technologies including a miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which have been successfully proven during the tests.
- The RCS is responsible for attitude control and steering by the use of thrusters and is also capable of providing small amounts of thrust in any desired direction or combination of directions.
- As per the defence ministry, the missile—which is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor—incorporates many novel technologies including miniaturised Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which were successfully proven during the tests conducted last year. The DRDO has designed the missile and its launcher in a way to ensure easy portability.
Designed and developed by:
DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners.