New Delhi: India plans to operationally deploy its long-range air defence system which can detect and destroy incoming stealth fighters, aircrafts, drones, cruise missiles and precision guided munitions at ranges upto 350 km by 2028.29. Times of India has reported it.
The “Interception capabilities” of the indigenous long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) system, being developed by DRDO under the ambitious Project Kusha, will be “comparable” to the formidable Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system recently inducted by the IAF, sources told TOI.
After the Cabinet Committee on Security in May 2022 cleared development of the LR-SAM system as a “mission-mode” project, the defence ministry last month accorded the acceptance of necessity (AoN) for procurement of five of its squadrons for the IAF at a cost of Rs 21,700 crore.
The mobile LR-SAM, with long-range surveillance and fire control radars, will have different types of interceptor missiles designed to hit hostile targets at 150-km, 250-km and 350-km ranges.
“It will be capable of reliable `area air defence’ with single-shot kill probability of not less than 80% for single missile launch and not less than 90% for salvo launch,” a source said.
Meant to provide comprehensive air defence cover to strategic and tactical vulnerable areas, the LR-SAM will be effective even against high-speed targets with low-radar cross-section, as per the DRDO.
Fire units of the LR-SAM will be able to “interact” with the IAF’s integrated air command and control system (IACCS), which is a fully-automated air defence network with data links being progressively built to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars to plug surveillance gaps in Indian airspace.
While the Army and Navy have their own air defence weapons, the IAF is overall responsible for guarding the country’s airspace. From ‘air superiority’ fighters to ground-based missiles, the IAF has several weapon systems deployed for the task.
The ground systems range from the older Igla, OSA-AK-M and Pechora missiles to the newer Israeli low-level Spyder quick-reaction missiles (15-km range), indigenous Akash area defence missiles (25-km) and the Barak-8 medium-range SAM systems (over 70-km) jointly developed with Israel.