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Indian Army Set to Receive Russian Igla-S Air Defence Systems

The Indian Army is poised to elevate its air defense capabilities with the impending delivery of the Russian Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) systems. This acquisition, featuring a technology transfer agreement between Adani Defence Systems and Technologies Limited (ADSTL) and Russia’s Rosoboronexport, represents a significant advancement in India’s defense preparedness.

What is Igla-S VSHORAD Systems?

The Igla-S VSHORAD system, a portable missile system, is specifically designed to counter low-altitude aerial threats, including aircraft, helicopters, and drones, in close proximity. Its integration into the Indian Army’s arsenal addresses critical gaps in the nation’s air defense grid. The procurement package includes 48 launchers, 100 missiles, and supplementary equipment such as night vision gear and a testing facility.

Progress Towards Self-Sufficiency in Defense Manufacturing

A noteworthy aspect of this acquisition is the partial assembly of the Igla-S systems in India, underscoring a significant stride towards enhanced self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing. While the missiles are sourced from Russia, the local assembly of specific components signifies progress towards indigenous production capabilities, aligning with the government’s vision for Make in India initiatives.

Resolution of Payments Dispute and Streamlined Collaborations

The anticipated delivery of the Igla-S systems in late May follows the resolution of a prolonged payments dispute between India and Russia, which had previously hindered several defense agreements. This breakthrough, facilitated through the utilization of national currencies, is expected to streamline future collaborations between the two nations and enhance bilateral defense cooperation.

Additional Advancements in Defense Capabilities

In addition to the Igla-S acquisition, the Indian Army is gearing up to receive the initial delivery of one of two Israeli Hermes-900 Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the upcoming month. These advancements, combined with ongoing efforts to develop domestic defense systems, underscore India’s commitment to strengthening the capabilities of its armed forces and safeguarding its security amidst dynamic geopolitical shifts.

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