Indian Army investing Rs 6800 Cr on shoulder-fired missiles to tackle Pakistan, China borders

The Indian Army is progressing two cases worth Rs 6,800 crore for developing Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) Systems indigenously, amid lack of inventory of shoulder-fired missiles to tackle aerial threats from Pakistan and China borders, according to a report.

News agency ANI reports the Army plans to develop and get over 500 launchers and around 3,000 missiles from indigenous routes.

The ANI report states, “At the same time, the Indian Army along with the other stakeholders is looking at the possibility of an old tender scrapped earlier in which the Russian Igla-S was selected in view of the delays for finding replacement for the old Igla-1M missiles.”

The current VSHORAD missiles in the Army and Air Force’s inventory are all equipped with lR homing guidance systems while the Igla 1M VSHORAD missile system was inducted in 1989 and was planned for de-induction in 2013, said Defence Ministry officials.

“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 Ministry officials told ANI.

The project would be for developing 200 launchers and 1,200 missiles for supplying to the Army and Air Force. Of the 1,200 missiles, the Indian Army is likely to get 700 while the remaining would be for the IAF, officials further added.

The two firms have to produce the prototype of the system under the Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured clause of the Defence Acquisition Procedure, they said.