Akash is a very potent supersonic mobile multidirectional multi-target point/area air defense system. Akash has been designed and developed by DRDO and produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
Akash can engage several air targets simultaneously using sophisticated multifunction phased array and surveillance radars in fully autonomous mode. Akash can engage several air threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The seamless integration of hardware and software of various elements permits automated management of air defense functions such as programmable surveillance, target detection, target acquisition, tracking, identification, threat evaluation, prioritization, assignment and engagement.
Equipped with advanced electronic counter countermeasures features at various levels, Akash system provides secure communication links with other air defense command and control networks to handle the counter electronic warfare scenario. The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 meters.
Akash have three sets of combat elements of weapon systems like Battery Level Radars, Battery Control Centres and Self-propelled Launchers were made on BMP-I, BMP-II and T-72 chassis with modifications on hulls suitable to fit the equipment, providing flexible deployment. An Akash battery comprises four 3D phased array radars and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them.
Akash can carry conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 60kg. The integration of nuclear warhead allows the missile to destroy aircraft and warheads released from ballistic missiles. It can operate in all weather conditions. It can operate autonomously, and engage and neutralize different aerial targets simultaneously. The kill probability of the Akash is 88% for the first and 99% for the second missile on a target. The Akash can intercept from a range of 30km. A digital proximity fuse is coupled with a 60 kg pre-fragmented warhead, while the safety arming and detonation mechanism enables a controlled detonation sequence. A self-destruct device is also integrated. It is propelled by an Integrated Ramjet Rocket Engine. The use of a ramjet propulsion system enables sustained speeds without deceleration throughout its flight. Akash flies at supersonic speed; reaching around Mach 2.5.The Missile has command guidance in its entire flight (base variant).
Two batteries are deployed as a Squadron (Air Force), while up to four form an Akash Group (Army configuration). In both configurations, an extra Group Control Centre (GCC) is added, which acts as the Command and Control HQ of the Squadron or Group. Based on a single mobile platform, GCC establishes links with Battery Control Centers and conducts air defense operations in coordination with air defense set up in a zone of operations. For early warning, the GCC relies on the Central Acquisition Radar. However, individual batteries can also be deployed with the cheaper, 2-D BSR (Battery Surveillance Radar) with a range of over 100 km.
Akash has an advanced automated functioning capability. The 3D CAR automatically starts tracking targets at a distance of around 150 km providing early warning to the system and operators. The target track information is transferred to GCC. GCC automatically classifies the target. BSR starts tracking targets around a range of 100 km. This data is transferred to GCC. The GCC performs multi-radar tracking and carries out track correlation and data fusion. Target position information is sent to the BLR which uses this information to acquire the targets. Each Battery Level radar (Rajendra radar) able to guide eight missiles in total, with a maximum of two missiles per target. Up to a maximum of four targets can be engaged simultaneously by a typical battery with a single Rajendra if one (or two) missile is allotted per target.
The BCC which can engage target/targets from the selected list at the earliest point of time is assigned the target in real time by the GCC. The availability of missiles and the health of the missiles are also taken into consideration during this process. Fresh targets are assigned as and when intercepts with assigned targets are completed. There are a number of possibilities for deploying Akash weapon system in autonomous mode and in group mode for neutralizing the threat profiles with defined multi-target engagement scenarios. In the Group mode akash can have number of configurations to defend vulnerable areas depending upon nature and expected threat pattern, characteristics of threat. Similarly, multiple batteries in autonomous mode can be deployed to defend vulnerable areas/points. In a Group formation, the four Batteries can be deployed in various geometric formations, as suited to the vulnerable area being protected and the extent desired to be sanitized from enemy air threat. In a box deployment pattern, an Akash group can defend an area of 62 km x 62 km. In a linear array configuration, it covers an area of 98 km x 44 km. Trapezoidal configuration gives defense to the largest area as compared to any other pattern of deployment covering an area of size 5000 square km.
Communications between the various vehicles are a combination of wireless and wired links. The entire system is designed to be set up quickly and to be highly mobile for high survivability. The Akash system can be deployed by rail, road or air.
The Army's radar and launchers are based on the T-72 chassis built by the Ordnance Factories Board's Ordnance Factory Medak to accompany the Army's fast moving armoured formations. The Air Force versions use a combination of tracked and wheeled vehicle. The Air Force Akash launcher consists of a detachable trailer which is towed by an Ashok Leyland truck, and which can be positioned autonomously. The Air Force launcher is designed by Larsen & Toubro jointly with DRDO. Both the Army and Air Force launchers have three ready-to-fire Akash missiles each. The launchers can slew in both elevation and azimuth. The Army Self-Propelled Launcher (ASPL) is 360 degrees slewable and its arc in elevation is from 6 to 60 degrees. The Akash Air Force Launcher (AAFL) is 360 degree slewable, in elevation it can fire from 8 to 75 degrees in all directions depending on the mode of deployment. Akash Air force launcher features an all electro servo drive system for fully automated and remote operation. To enable the Akash group to perform self-sufficient in the combat zone, a number of supporting specialist vehicles have been designed and developed. They are mobile and field-worthy. Their design is based on the role and task to be performed and the vehicles are accordingly allocated to the Group HQ, the Batteries, Assembly Line Area and the Field maintenance workshop. Some of the vehicles are: the Missile Transportation Vehicle (MTV), the Transportation and Loading Vehicle (TLV), the Mobile Station for Missile Checkout (MSMC) Vehicle, the Air Compressor Vehicle (ACV), the Power Supply vehicles (GPSV, BPSV), the Engineering Support, Maintenance and Repair vehicles (GEM, BEM) and a few others. These specialist vehicles assemble and prepare missiles, deliver them to Batteries, carry maintenance spares and fuel, and provide logistical engineering support. Their allocation provides for flexibility and self-sufficiency to the whole Akash Group
Some of the indigenous technologies developed by DRDO during the programme are: integral ram rocket propulsion system, multifunction phased array radar system, multi beam 3D Surveillance radar system, C4I system hardware and software for air defense application, command guidance system, dual control digital autopilot and PN guidance, digitally coded radio proximity fuze, electrical servo drive system, frequency hopping communication system, switchable guidance antenna system, built-in ECCM features for guidance, digital coded guidance schemes for multiple missile tracking, end game techniques for maximizing effectiveness of kill.
Battery Level Radar - Rajendra
Akash missile is guided by phased array fire control radar called 'Rajendra' which is termed as Battery Level Radar (BLR) with a tracking range of about 60 km. The tracking and missile guidance radar configuration consists of a slewable phased array antenna of more than 4000 elements, spectrally pure TWT transmitter, two stage superheterodyne correlation receiver for three channels, high speed digital signal processor, real time management computer and a powerful radar data processor. It can track 64 targets in range, azimuth and height and guide eight missiles simultaneously in ripple fire mode towards four targets. The radar has advanced ECCM features. The Rajendra derivative on a BMP-2 chassis and to be used by the Indian Air Force is known as the Battery Level Radar-II whereas that for the Army is based on a T-72 chassis and is known as the Battery Level Radar-III.
2-D BSR (Battery Surveillance Radar)
The Army version also consists of the Battery Surveillance Radar (BSR). BSR is a track vehicle based, long range sensor, interfaced with the BCC. It can detect and track up to 40 targets in range and azimuth up to a range of 100 km.
Early warning in all modes is provided by the S-band CAR which can track while scan 150 targets simultaneously beyond a range of 200 kms and up to an altitude of 18 kms. The BSRs come into action for targets that are up to 100 kms away. The Akash missile itself of course employs a command guided missile with fire control being provided by the Rajendra III which can track 64 targets simultaneously while being able to guide up to 12 missiles at a time to engage 4 different targets. The Rajendra III which is in production is a slewable passive electronically scanned array (PESA) that has a tracking range of 60 km against fighter aircraft flying at medium altitudes.
Long range target acquisition is performed by the 3D Central Acquisition Radar (3D CAR), which is a long range surveillance radar that can track up to 200 targets in Track while Scan mode (detecting, tracking and processing) in three dimensions. It provides azimuth, range and height coordinates of targets to the Group Control Centre (GCC) through secure communication links. The data is used to cue the weapon control radar.
Akash Mk-1S is an upgrade of existing Akash missile with indigenous seeker. Akash Mk-1S is a surface-to -air missile, which can neutralize advanced aerial targets. There was demand from Indian Armed Forces for a missile with a seeker that can target inbound targets more accurately for which DRDO offered an upgraded Akash with an indigenous seeker named Akash-1S.
This variant of Akash has some additional features compared to the original once. Akash-1S missile has an indigenous seeker and can shoot down enemy fighter jets, missiles and drones very effectively and accurately at a range of up to 30 kilometers and at altitudes up to 18 km. Akash 1S can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms for greater mobility.
DRDO recently carried out back to back trials of Akash-1S with the new Ku-band Seeker which vastly improves Kill-probability.
Akash Prime is believed to be a repackaged Akash Mk1S for high altitude warfare. Akash Prime has better performance than its predecessors. Radar of akash Prime is upgraded and tweaked for high altitude performance and autonomous tracking and launch system to deal with high altitude extreme climatic conditions. Electronic systems of Akash Prime had been hardened so that it can operate in extremely cold areas (-30 to -40).Akash prime has new Low-Temperature Batteries which have longer life in high altitude extremely cold areas. Ramjet and rocket propulsion of Akash prime customized and upgraded to perform better at high altitude where air is lighter.
Efforts are going on to make Akash Prime to further improve its performance at higher altitude. Two regiments of Akash Prime will make up around 480 launchers and close to 1500 missiles along with dozens of Rajendra radars, interlinked and controlled by the group control center (GCC).
Akash NG is a highly advanced upgraded version of Akash. The development of the Akash-NG (Next Generation) was approved in September 2016. Akash-NG missile has a cylindrical body with four cropped delta fins at mid-body and four tail fins. Second stage air-breathing solid ramjet engine has been ditched in favor of lighter dual-pulse solid rocket motor. The new propulsion system will increase the range of the missile to 50km+ DRDO working on to improve the range further upto-70-90Km. Akash-NG has six major components- radome, indigenous AESA RF seeker, RF/Laser proximity fuse, pre-fragmented warhead, electromechanical actuation, and dual-pulse rocket motor. When the second pulse motor is fired, the Akash NG speeds up and no enemy aircraft can get away.
Akash-NG will have an improved reaction time and higher level of protection against saturation attacks. Akash NG has a truck mounted 3-D active electronically scanned array Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and optical proximity fuze. The Addition of MFR will afford the Akash missile system capabilities it never had before. MFR will combine functions (search, track and fire control) of three different radars in one single unit. Akash NG is equipped with an AESA seeker (Ku-band ‘Netra’ active radar seeker and RF-based proximity fuze) which considerably improved the kill probability (more than 90 percentages) and effectiveness.
Akash-NG will fulfill Indian Air Force-specific requirement for a quick-reaction E-SHORADS that not only satisfied the IAF’s demand for a smaller deployment footprint area-wise, but also had a far-longer and cheaper service-life.
The Akash Missile itself has been re-engineered almost completely and has been brought down from the legacy Akash’s weight of 700 kg to a sleek 350 kg. That allows the Akash NG launchers to carry more than the three missiles that the legacy Akash launcher carried. Akash-NG has a canister based launch system on a road-mobile launcher for improved mobility.
The existing Akash-1 and Akash-1S missiles have to be stored separately in pressurized missile-containers and consequently have to be loaded and unloaded before and after use. This in turn reduced the service-life of the Akash-1 and Akash-1S missiles.
Flying at a supersonic speed Akash NG can handle multiple targets and destroy maneuvering and low RCS targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles, stealth fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and missiles launched from helicopters, and are capable of killing subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic targets (Upto Mach 7). Akash NG can also defend against tactical ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles (possibly Akash NG can intercept Chinese glide vehicles). The new Akash system can defend an area of at least 10 times better compared to any short-range SAM and is capable of engaging up to 10 targets near simultaneously.
Akash-NG due to better SSKP over its previous generation missile and due to advancement in the seeker and onboard electronics will achieve higher SSKP which will negate the use of Salvo firing mode which will cut down the cost of each kill.
Each Akash-NG Squadron will include the ADTCR acting as the medium-power radar (derived from the Arudhra MPR’s design), the BSR and the BMFR—an arrangement similar to that adopted for the QR-SAM. Command-control and fire-control systems of the Akash-NG would be almost identical to those of the QR-SAM.
The first test of Akash-NG conducted on 25-Jan-2021. The Akash NG test validated the missile’s propulsion, aerodynamics and control systems, Two more series of tests will follow — first of its guidance system and seeker and then of its warhead. By the year-end, if all goes well, the Akash NG will be ready to enter manufacture. Indian army is likely to incorporate several features of the Akash NG into the older version which is recently ordered by the army.
Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) is a state-of-the-art air defense system which will significantly boost the defense capabilities of Indian armed forces. Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile System (QRSAM) is a Short Range, all-weather, tracked-chassis, Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system designed to protect moving armored columns from aerial attacks. The entire weapon system is configured on highly mobile platforms and is capable of providing air defense on the move. The system is being developed for Indian Army with search and track on move capability with very short reaction time. QR-SAM will replace Indian Army Osa-AK and Kvadrat missile systems.
QR-SAM can engage all kinds of targets, including aircraft, hovering helicopters, missiles and low-flying targets, including those that suddenly appear at close range. The QRSAM's radar able to track while scanning out to 28 kilometers; provide 3-D, 360-degree coverage; recognize identification-friend-or-foe beacons; detect ballistic and cruise missiles; and guide four missiles to separate targets. The Mach 1.8 QR-SAM has a kill-zone of between 3km and 30km in range, from 30 metres to 6km in altitude, and 360-degree in azimuth. They are able to operate 24 hours a day, move 150 kilometers a day without refueling and have nuclear-biological-chemical protection. QR-SAM Missiles Laser proximity fuze along with its advanced radars ensures that missile can't be jammed.
The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises of fully automated Command and Control System, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar and Launcher. Both radars are four-walled having 360-degree coverage with search on move and track on move capability. The system is compact with minimum number of vehicles for a firing unit. Single stage solid propelled missile has midcourse inertial navigation system with two-way data link and terminal active seeker developed by DRDO. It has a fully automated Command and Control System. QR SAM using mobile launcher & Canister. QR SAM has all Round Missile Firing Capability in elevation from 10 to 60° and Azimuth 360.
Truck based QRSAM Air Defense System can move at speed of 50kmph and has the ability to operate nearly 8 hours at a stretch without the need for refueling. High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) used are capable of being operated in plains, deserts, semi-deserts, terrains found in India and can also be transported through broad gauge rakes of Indian railways. HMV also has NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) system installed which ensures reliable protection of the crew and internal equipment against mass destruction weapons. HMV also have a Navigation system and Night vision devices to help Driver and Commander to move in the dark and also in unfamiliar terrains.
A typical Indian Army QR-SAM Regiment will comprise a Regimental Command Post Vehicle (RCPV), one S-band 90km-range air-defense tactical control radar (ADTCR) for volumetric airspace surveillance, and three Batteries, each of which will include a Battery Command Post Vehicle (BCPV), a 120km-range C-band active phased-array Battery Surveillance Radar (BSR), and four Combat Groups (CG). Each CG in turn will comprise an X-band 80km-range active phased-array Battery Multi-Function Radar (BMFR), plus a 16km-range optronic fire-control system, and four Missile Launch Vehicles (MLV), each of which will carry six canister-encased missiles.
The IAF-specific variant of the QR-SAM will be employed exclusively for cruise missile defence (CMD), in particular against China’s ground-launched CJ-10/DF-10A and air-launched K/AKD-20 land-attack cruise missiles or LACM (all these being clones of the Ukrainian Korshun LACM that had been developed in the Nineties by Dnipropetrovsk-based Yuzhnoye State Design Bureau and Yuzhnoye Machine-Building Production Association, or Yuzhmash), and against the Babur (a DF-10A clone) and Ra’ad LACMs of Pakistan.
The missile can engage aircraft at 500m/s at 20 km and 300m/s at 30 km. The missile also has terminal guidance using an RF seeker. The system has AESA radar with X-band Quad Transmit Receiver Modules (QTMs), Two Way Data Link (TWDL) and IFF. The BSR and BMFR uses advanced motion compensation & electronic stabilization algorithms to along with high accuracy motion sensors.
The developmental trials of the weapon system are successfully completed and the weapon system is expected to be ready for induction by 2021. Amid tensions with China, existing units of system were deployed on eastern Ladakh border.
A typical Indian Army QR-SAM Regiment will one S-band 90km-range air-defense tactical control radar (ADTCR) for volumetric airspace surveillance, and three Batteries, each of which will include a Battery Command Post Vehicle (BCPV), a 120km-range C-band active phased-array Battery Surveillance Radar (BSR), and four Combat Groups (CG). Each CG in turn will comprise an X-band 80km-range active phased-array Battery Multi-Function Radar (BMFR), plus a 16km-range optronic fire-control system.
Both BSR and BMFR using state of the art AESA technology combine with advanced signal processing and data processing algorithms to detect and track all kinds of threats in intense electronic environment. BSR & BMFR are believed to be based on GaN technology and using GaN QTRMs. The BSR & BMFR use advanced platform motion compensation and electronic stabilization algorithms along with high accuracy motion sensors. Both radars are mounted on 8*8 High Mobility Vehicles and are capable of operating on the move in plains deserts and semi-deserts. The AESA radar panels of BSR & BMFR are blended on the vehicle body. There is very few systems have a blended configuration. This kind of configuration helps in improved maintenance and better camouflaging.
Air defense tactical control system is for volumetric surveillance, tracking and friend/foe identification of aerial targets of different types, and transmission of prioritized target data to multiple command posts/weapons systems. The S band radar can be deployed in plain lands, deserts and in the mountain regions for the purpose of tactical early warning for SAM systems. The system employs state of the art active phased array technology with Digital beam forming and distributed digital receivers. Whole radar system including redundant generators and operator shelter configured on two 8*8 high mobility Vehicles. ADTCR System is being developed using proven and established Radar technologies.
BMFR & BCR
BSR & BMFR uses the state of the art active phased array technology combined with advanced signal processing and data processing algorithms to detect and track fixed wing aircrafts including UAVs as well as Rotary wing aircrafts including hovering helicopters in intense EW environment.
The BSR & BMFR use advanced platform motion compensation and electronic stabilization algorithms along with high accuracy motion sensors. Both radars are mounted on8x8 high Mobility Vehicles and are capable of operating on the move in plains, deserts and semi-deserts.
The BMFR also includes a 2 axis Stabilized Electro-Optical Sight (SEOS) for the QR-SAM that can passively acquire targets up to 40-km away. The SEOS comprises of laser range finder, CCD camera, thermal imager and automatic video tracker.
MRSAM (Indian Army/Air force)
The Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) is being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The MRSAM is an advanced path breaking air and missile defense system that provides ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms. The missile is designed to provide the armed forces with air defense capability against a variety of aerial threats at medium ranges. MRSAM is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defense system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels. MR-SAM features Mobile Container design for a Canister missile system probably a first time for an air defense system anywhere in the world.
MRSAM for Indian Army is designed not only to protect vital static Army installations but can also double up as a long-range Air defense system that can move with Strike formations deep inside enemy areas. QRSAM Air Defense system for Army will move with the forward Strike formations while the MRSAM due to its long-range Interception range will move little behind, but both missile system when deployed, will be able to talk to each other so that the best missile can be used to intercept a hostile target.
MRSAM Army version is more mobile as it moves away from Air force variants 18-Wheel Box Trailer Truck configuration to 10×2 Truck that has better mobility and offers better speed for faster movements. MRSAM 18-Wheel Box Trailer Truck configuration is designed to be installed at stationery valued military installations like airbase and radar stations so the movement of this missile system is not so important, while Army required much more mobile truck-based missile system that can be stationed and removed whenever required among civilian traffic.
Each MRSAM weapon system comprises one command and control system, one tracking radar, missiles, and mobile launcher systems. The mobile launcher is used to transport, emplace and launch up to eight canisterised missiles in two stacks. It can fire the missiles in single or ripple firing modes from the vertical firing position.
The combat management system simplifies the process of engaging a variety of threats. It identifies and tracks the threat using tracking radar. The system calculates the distance between the target and the launcher and then determines if the identified target is a friend or a foe. The target information is then transmitted to the mobile launcher.
MRSAM missile is equipped with an advanced active radar radio frequency (RF) seeker, advanced rotating phased array radar, and a bidirectional data link. The RF seeker can detect moving targets in all weather conditions.
The phased array radar provides a high-quality air situation picture, while the bidirectional data link is used for relaying midcourse guidance and target information to the missile.
The missile’s explosive warhead, featuring a self-destruct fuse, provides high-probability of kill against enemy targets with minimal collateral damage.
MRSAM missile is powered by a dual-pulse solid propulsion system developed by DRDO. The propulsion system, coupled with a thrust vector control system, allows the missile to move at a maximum speed of Mach 2. The weapon has the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously at ranges of 70km.
MR-SAM was handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in August 2019. The Indian Air Force is committed to field at least 18 air defense batteries while the Indian Army has acquired a first group of the land-based MRSAM, along with the infrastructure of command, control, training and support facilities to support additional four groups in the future.
LR SAM /Barak 8 (Indian Navy)
Barak 8/Long Range SAM (“LR SAM”) is a high response quick reaction vertical launch supersonic missile to neutralize enemy aerial threats such as missiles, aircraft, guided bombs and helicopters.
Barak 8 is loosely based on the original Barak 1 missile. The radar system provides 360 degree coverage and the missiles can take down an incoming missile as close as 500 meters away from the ship.
Barak 8 has a length of about 4.5 meters, a diameter of 0.225 meters at missile body, and 0.54 meters at the booster stage, a wingspan of 0.94 meters and weighs 275 kg including a 60 kg warhead which detonates at proximity. The missile has maximum speed of Mach 2 with a maximum operational range of 70 km, which was later increased to 100 km. Barak 8 features a dual pulse rocket motor as well as Thrust vector control, and possesses high degrees of maneuverability at target interception range. A second motor is fired during the terminal phase, at which stage the active radar seeker is activated to home in on to the enemy track. Barak 8 has been designed to counter a wide variety of air-borne threats, such as; anti-ship missiles, aircraft, UAVs drones and supersonic missiles When coupled with a modern air-defence system and multi-function surveillance track and guidance radars, (such as the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA on board the Kolkata-class destroyers) Barak 8 enables the capability to simultaneously engage multiple targets during saturation attacks.
Barak Interceptors has vertical launch capabilities supporting 360 coverage, quick reactions, short minimal ranges and an active high-end RF seeker for targets with low radar cross sections and high maneuverability.
The Indian Navy (IN) had carried out “co-operative engagement firing” trials using the Medium-range Surface-to Air-Missile (MRSAM) in May 2019. Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers INS Kochi (D 64) and INS Chennai (D 65) were involved in the test-firing. The missiles of both ships were controlled by one ship to intercept different aerial targets at extended ranges. With the successful proving of this cooperative mode of engagement, the Indian Navy has become a part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability. The capability significantly enhances the combat effectiveness of the Indian Navy thereby providing an operational edge over potential adversaries.
Indian Navy selected MRSAM for installation on 15 first line surface combatants. Three P15A (Kolkata Class) destroyers are already operationally protected by the system. Deliveries of MRSAM for four P15B as well as seven P17A destroyers are under progress, along with a system destined to protect the first indigenous aircraft carrier - the Vikrant. The system was also selected to protect the first line vessels of the Israeli Navy - the four new SAAR 6 Magen class vessels.
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XR SAM is an under development very long range Surface to air missile system, by Hyderabad-based Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).Indian Air Force accepted the Configuration of XR-SAM.
XRSAM will bridge the gap between MR-SAM (70 km) and S-400 (400 km) Air Defense System. XRSAM will also come in Canister based transportable Truck based launcher system. The entire system shall be designed for transportability.
XR-SAM will use advanced spin-off technologies developed for Anti-Ballistic missile Defense system. XR-SAM probably a spin-off of the AAD-1 Endo-atmospheric interceptor with a service ceiling of 120 km and has supposedly Anti-Ballistic Missile features. XR-SAM may utilize the same network grid deployed for Anti-ballistic Missile Shield.
XR-SAM will complement the S-400 systems in their role and filling the need for a robust Multi-Layered Air Defense System. XR-SAM will be consisting of two slightly different surface to air missiles (Need Confirmation). One will have 250 km range another will have 400 km range.
XR-SAM will have active radar homing guidance and GaN (Gallium Nitride) based UHF radars. XR-SAM can simultaneously engage Aircraft, Cruise Missiles, Unmanned Drones and ballistic targets. XRSAM will also be able to engage stealth fighters and ballistic missile in the terminal stage, Sea Skimming Anti-Ship Missiles, AWACS, Bombers, Mid-Air-Refuellers.
Range against maneuvering aircrafts : 250 km (fighters, stealth aircrafts, drones etc.)
Range against slow moving targets : 350 km (AWACS, tankers, transport aircrafts etc.)
Range against AShMs, cruise missiles etc : 250 km
Range against ballistic missiles : Terminal Stage
According to latest reports XRSAM has been prepared for ground trials and it is likely will enter trials phase soon.
Vertical Launch – Short Range SAM is a next-generation, ship/Truck based, all-weather, SAM system under development. VL-SRSAM is meant for neutralizing various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets. VL-SRSAM will be developed in two variants one for Air Force and another one for Indian Navy. The air force version will have high mobility Truck-mounted canister based VL-SRSAM and Navy will get Canister based VL-SRSAM for its front-line warships. DRDO already developed an 8×2 configuration Cell vertical launching system (VLS) Plug that can be installed in warships and also developed a Canister based launching system that can be mounted on Truck for the Air force version. VL-SRSAM, s Vertical Launch System can be retrofitted into a variety of naval platforms like frigates, Destroyers and offshore patrol vessels (OPV), etc. VL-SRSAM will replace the Barak-1 point defense interceptor which currently deployed in many Indian naval ships and can supplement SPYDER point defense system.
VL-SRSAM is believed to be a Ground launch version of the Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. From the publicized images of VL-SRSAM it looks somewhat similar to earlier iterations of Astra BVR Missile. VL-SRSAM will have an Integrated Thrust vectoring Control for improved agility and will have a foldable wings and fins for storage inside Vertical Launch System.
VL-SRSAM can engage almost any kind of threats and will provide complete protection over 25Km including sea skimming anti ship missile. It is an all weather system which can operate both in day &night and covering 360 degree. VL-SRSAM will feature an active radar seeker.
DRDO conducted two successful launches of VL-SRSAM on 22-Feb-2021.
The launches were carried out from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. The launches were carried out for demonstration of vertical launch capability as part of its maiden launch campaign. On both occasions, the missiles intercepted the simulated targets with pinpoint accuracy. The missiles were tested for minimum and maximum range. VL-SRSAM with Weapon Control System (WCS) was deployed during the trials.
The trials have proved the effectiveness of the weapon system and few more trials will be conducted shortly before deployment on Indian Naval ships. Once deployed, the VL-SRSAM system will prove to be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy.
In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems. Initially, it was expected that the first of the five S-400 systems will start coming in by the end of 2020. Due to the spread of Chinese COVID 19 Russia postponed the delivery and later agreed to deliver by 2021-end.
S-400 is the most modern air defense system in the Russian arsenal. It is capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones within a range of up to 400 km. It has a tracking capability of nearly 600 km.
The system has been designed to shoot down flying targets, including stealth aircrafts, at a distance of about 400 km. It is also capable of taking out ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets.
The S-400 can be armed with four different types of missiles with ranges of 400 km, 250 km, 120 km and 40 km. The long-range radar can track more than 100 flying objects simultaneously while being able to engage a dozen targets. According to media reports India is buying two different type of surface-to-air missile for its S-400 system: 40N6 (Range: 400 km) and 48N6 Range: 250 km). There are rumors that Indian S-400 may have technologies developed for Russian S-500 that will make Indian S-400 more advanced than Chinese S-400.
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2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful)
2K12 "Kub" mobile surface-to-air missile system is a low to medium-level air defense system designed to protect ground forces from air attack. The first generation missiles of 2K12 Kub have an effective range of 4–22 km and an effective altitude of 50–14,000 m. The new missiles has an effective range from 4 to 24 km. in 2017 India has launched a new request at the international level to supply approximately 200 missiles for the system. India needs a new missile able of engaging target in range of 24/25 Kms with a single shot kill probability of at least 80 percent.
This system may replace with Akash SAM, but the recent requirement of 200Missiles indicates India may use these systems further. About 12 regiments of Kub system are believed to be in active service with India.
9K31 Strela-10 M3 (SA-13 Gopher)
The 9K31 Strela-1 is a highly mobile, short-range, low altitude infra-red guided surface-to-air missile system.
Strela-10M3 is a further development of the Strela-10M2. Strela-10M3 deployed on the 9K35M3 TELAR , this variant using the 9M333 missile which was supplied with a 9E425 three channel seeker, the first infrared, the second using a visible band television contrast lock design, and the third a passive homing channel intended to home on the emissions from jamming equipment. The 9M333 included a new autopilot and IR background rejection processing, as well as a laser proximity fuse. Strela M3 can engage enemy aircraft and helicopters at a range up to 5 000 m and altitude of up to 3.5 km. It can additionally engage UAVs and cruise missiles. Missile has improved resistance to enemy countermeasures. Warhead contains 5 kg of explosive material instead of 3 kg. It is more efficient against small-size air targets, such as UAVs. The missiles weight 42 kg. These can be used by all other versions of the Strela-10.
In 2015 Russia offers to upgrade SAM Strela-10M3 for India to the level of the Strela-10M4 or Strela-10MN (night version), making it more combat-worthy. Modernization includes the upgrading of the combat vehicle, but we will not touch the rockets. The main drawback of the earlier versions was that the system could not work at night. It did not have thermal sighting capability. These new versions – the Strela-10M4 or Strela-10MN (night version), can work at night. But there is no news about the up gradation of the system. Upgraded Sterla-10M3 will have new target-acquisition radar; most probably it will be the very same AESA-based radar that’s on the IA’s upgraded ZSU-23-4 Schilkas.
India may have 250 units of Strela 10M3 and 200 units of Strela 1
India ordered Strela 9M333 from Russia in 2020(Need Confirmation). Sources in the know told that the contract was made towards the end of 2020. A Kalashnikov spokesperson confirmed reports of the deal but offered no details either. Information about the number of units or the value of the deal was not available.
Strela 9M333 guided missile system is designed to defeat low-flying aircraft and helicopters as well as remotely piloted aircraft and cruise missiles. Guided 9М333 missile is the modernized 9М37М missile with a higher efficiency engine and a new transportation and launch container. Unlike its predecessor that had only 2 seeker modes available, the new seeker works in 3 modes.
The new war-head is heavier than its predecessor with the weight of 5 kg as opposed to the 3 kg warhead of 9М37М. The accuracy and the probability of target hitting are increased due to a bigger detonator buster, and the special section of its sub-munitions (missile fragments).
The new guided 9М333 missile is fully compatible with all earlier versions of Strela-10. The new transportation and launching container and the missile electronics do not require any alterations to be made in the Strela-10 system combat vehicles, Kalashnikov information said.
Spyder (Surface-to-air Python-5 Derby)
The SPYDER is a low-level, quick reaction missile. . In June 2006, SPYDER was selected by the Indian Army. The procurement was finally approved by the approved by the Indian Defense Acquisitions Council in July 2008 but due to logistics issue, the missile couldn't be deployed. A contract worth $1bn for 18 SPYDER systems was awarded to Rafael in September 2008. The SPYDER systems were delivered starting in 2012. 18 SPYDER-MRs along with 750 Python-5 surface to air missiles (SAMs) and 750 Derby SAMs has been delivered.
SPYDER is a low-level quick reaction missile (LLQRM) system. It is used to protect critical infrastructure in ground-to-air missions from wide-spectrum of incoming air-borne threats ranging from aircrafts, helicopters, UAVs, precision-guided munitions (PGMs). It offers both lock-on before launch (LOBL) and lock-on after launch (LOAL) capabilities with I-Derby and Python-5 missiles.
SPYDER MR purchased by India offers target interception through vertical launch, thereby creating a protective dome of 80 km radius. It uses electro-optic payloads and wireless data link communications to ensure all-weather, multi-launch and network-centric capabilities. India successfully test fired the SPYDER-MR system in May 2017
The SPYDER family has autonomous capabilities, detecting threats while on-the-move and firing instantly after halt. SPYDER systems enable a 360° launch within seconds of the target being declared hostile, and provide all-weather, multi-launch, and net-centric capabilities.SPYDER’s open architecture design enables the integration of external components such as radars.
SPYDER-MR offer medium & long range target interception through vertical launch while pushing the defense envelope up to an 80 km radius.
SPYDER MR System enable a 360° launch within seconds of the target being declared hostile ‒ and provide all-weather, multi-launch, and net-centric capabilities. The SPYDER systems have advanced ECCM capabilities and use electro-optical observation payloads as well as wireless data link communication.
The main components of the SPYDER system are the truck-mounted command and control unit, the missile firing unit with Python 5 and Derby missiles, a field service vehicle and missile supply vehicle.
The vehicles are air-conditioned and also provide protection against biological and chemical warfare (BCW). The system is based on a modular design and system maintenance in the field is through very quick module replacement.
The system can launch missiles in two modes of operation: lock on before launch (LOBL) and lock on after launch (LOAL). The slant launching method, unlike vertical launch, allows LOBL so the missile’s on-board seeker is locked on to the target before launch. The LOBL mode allows the Squadron Commander to confirm the missile is locked on to the designated target prior to launch, gives high kill probability against short-range high-manoeuvring targets and enables the engagement of designated targets by add-on optical sensors.
A typical SPYDER squadron consists of one mobile command and control unit (CCU) and four mobile firing units (MFU). The CCU and MFUs each have their own built-in power supplies. The system features an automated computer, assisting the operators in the successful completion of hostile target interceptions in intense battlefield environments. The mobile CCU is equipped with surveillance radar and two operator stations. There is a radio data link between the CCU and the four MFUs.
The CCU combines data from the local surveillance radar and from upper tier command and control centers up to 100km away. There is also provision for receiving air situation pictures from other data links.
The air situation picture (ASP) is displayed at the operator’s workstation in the command centre. When the operator decides to launch, an automatic procedure is initiated. The CCU assigns the target to the appropriate launch unit.
If the target is within acquisition range the missile is launched in LOBL mode. If the target is beyond seeker acquisition range the missile is launched in LOAL mode. The seeker searches for the target and switches to homing phase when the target is acquired.
Both the DERby and the PYthon 5 missiles can operate in LOBL and LOAL modes. The target is destroyed by the warhead blasting on impact or by proximity fuse.
The command and control unit is housed in a truck-mounted shelter with a mounted radar, information friend or foe (IFF) interrogator and communication equipment. The VHF/UHF interference-free communication system is for internal squadron communication and to upper tier command.
SPYDER uses a truck-mounted missile firing unit which is equipped with a communications system and fitted with a 360° rotatable, electro-mechanically operated, turret-based launch unit.
Elta EL/M 2106 ATAR 3D surveillance radar
The Elta EL/M 2106 ATAR 3D surveillance radar can simultaneously track up to 60 targets. The radar has 360° operation and all-weather day and night capability. The radar includes advanced electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) for operation in dense hostile electronic warfare environments.
PYthon 5 missile
The PYthon 5 missile is Rafael’s new very high agility dogfight air-to-air missile. PYthon 5 is a development of the PYthon 4 with a dual-band focal plane array and imaging infrared (IIR) seeker which gives a very wide field of view.
PYthon 5 retains the same airframe – with pitch and yaw control, delta-shaped canards and two roll control swept fins and the same rocket motor, warhead and fuse – as the PYthon 4 missile. The wide field of view allows LOAL at an angle of more than 100° off boresight. The dual-band seeker gives increased detection range, improved target discrimination against background clutter and a lower false target acquisition rate.
In LOAL mode, the target data is transferred from the command and control unit via the launcher to the missile. The missile’s guidance and control systems are active for a three times longer period than for the earlier PYthon, enabling the missile to counter targets making evasive manoeuvres. The high explosive fragmentation warhead is fitted with an active laser proximity fuse.
The DERby missile is a medium-range, active radar-guided missile originally developed for the air-to-air role. The air defence missile has all-weather and beyond visual range capability.
DERby has a similar body design to the PYthon missile. An active RF radar / infrared seeker, developed by IAI, is installed in the nose of the missile. The missile incorporates an advanced programmable ECCM system. Derby operates in LOBL mode for short-range target engagement and LOAL mode for medium-range engagements.
There are rumors that India Deployed SPYDER Missiles Along With Akash Air Defence System near China Border, during the ongoing standoff at LAC.
9K33 Osa (SA-8A/B Gecko)
The 9K33 Osa is a highly mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical surface-to-air missile . The missile is mounted on an amphibious vehicle having its own radar and can act with or without the regimental surveillance radars. The range is about 15km and a maximum altitude of 12km. The six-wheeled transport vehicles BAZ-5937 are fully amphibious and air transportable. The road range is about 500 km.
The SA-8b Gecko is a single-stage, solid-fuel, short-range, low-altitude, all-weather SAM. The TELAR vehicle is six wheeled with driver's compartment at the front of the vehicle which has accommodation for two; the driver and commander, with access to it via a hatch in the roof. The engine is at the rear. Four command-guided missiles are carried ready to launch, two either side. The main, conical-scan, fire control radar is at the rear of a one-man, gunner-radar operator position and folds back 90º to reduce the overall height of the vehicle for air transport and during high speed road travel.
The radar operates in the H-band with a 360º traverse and has a max Range of 35 km. Each battery also has two missile transloaders based on the same chassis with a long coffin-like blunt pointed tarp roofed structure covering the cargo space and crane. When operating, the blunt point area is raised and the tarped structure is slid to the rear. A total of 18 reloads in boxed sets of three are transferred to the TELAR by a hydraulic crane mounted centrally behind the vehicle cab. In the regiment maintenance battery there is a single radar collimation vehicle using the same chassis. This has a collimation antenna which lies on both sides of the vehicle and overhangs the rear during transit. It is raised during operation and mounted on each side of the hull directly behind the cab.
In operation it is raised and mounted on each side of the hull directly behind the cab. The SA-8b is contained in a rectangular launch box it has improved guidance and speed characteristics to give it a maximum range of 15km. The warhead weight of the missile is 19kg. The reloading time is five minutes. Combat deployment time is four minutes with the system reaction of 26 seconds. The surveillance radar operates in the H-band and has an effective range of around 30 km against a typical target. The tracking radar is of the pulsed type and it operates in the J-band with a range of 20 - 25 km. The I-band guidance radar makes it possible to launch two missiles at the same target, each one responding to a different frequency to frustrate ECM.
India may have 50 Units of Upgraded OSA AKM.
S-125 Pechora (SA-3B Goa)
S-125 Pechora is a low- to medium-altitude air defense system. It has a shorter effective range and lower engagement altitude than either of its predecessors and also flies slower, but due to its two-stage design it is more effective against more maneuverable targets. It is also able to engage lower flying targets than the previous systems, missiles reach around Mach 3 to 3.5 in flight, both stages powered by solid fuel rocket motors. The S-125 uses radio command guidance.
India initiated the up gradation of S-125 in 2016. Indian S 125s are outdated for the most part, and the extension of their service life is immediately required to keep them in service. India will digitize the Pechora`s control unit, antenna post, subsystems of SAM launchers, tracking and coordinating systems, missile-command generating systems and launch-computing devices.
In October 2020 Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has roped in Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) to upgrade the Pechora system. ADTL will be upgrading and digitizing 16 of the Pechora missile and radar systems which are presently in Service. Also, the contract has an options clause, under which the number of systems to be upgraded and digitized could be taken up to a total of 24 in the coming years. The project would lead to the adoption of a host of indigenously developed technologies in the Pechora missile systems, like radar transmitter, thermal imager based electro-optical system and communication equipment. The entire contract is to be executed within four years. The Pechora upgrade program includes the refurbishment of its missile-guidance radar and the integration of its radar with an Integrated Area Command and Control System (IACCS). The upgrade will provide a fresh lease of life for ten years. IAF had planned to replace Pechora systems with MRSAM systems.
India may have 25-30 Squadrons of Pechora.
India used P 15 Flat face as part of Pechora SAM Systems. P 15 has a Range of 128 km. We are not sure whether it is still operational or not. Most of the systems were replaced by P19 Radars.
The P-19 designed to detect aircraft flying at low altitude and came to be associated with the S-125. The radar can rapidly shift its frequency to one of four pre-set frequencies to avoid active interference with passive interference being removed by a coherent doppler filter. Azimuth was determined by mechanical scanning with an associated accompanying PRV-11 used to determine elevation. P-19 has good low altitude detection and high resistance to countermeasures. P 19 Uses UHF Frequency and has a range of 260Km. India is started its up-gradation few years back, we don’t know the current status of the upgrade.
In a recent exhibition Indian Air force showed a SAM system based on R 73E heat seeking missile named as SAMAR (Surface to Air Missile for Assured Retaliation).SAMAR is developed by Army and Air force engineers using the currently available systems in the force. India has thousands of old R73 so these developments most probably a way to get rid of older R-73 Stocks that have completed their captive flight hours so that SAMAR may not go into bulk production.
Each launcher is fitted with a FLIR for target recognition and the image will cued to R73 seeker after that the R73 will be fired. The system is quite capable to shoot down Aircrafts , helicopters & UAVs.
Ballistic Missile Defense
The Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Programme, an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system, is a two-tiered system consisting of two interceptor missiles, namely Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defense (AAD) missile for lower altitude interception. The two-tiered shield will be able to intercept any incoming missile launched 5,000 km away.
The PAD was tested in November 2006, followed by AAD in December 2007. With the test of the PAD missile, India became the fourth country to have successfully developed an ABM system, after the United States, Russia and Israel.
The ABM defense system comprises integration of LRTR, fire control radar, mobile communications terminal and mobile launcher-fired interceptor missiles, which make it technologically complex. These tests are a significant step forward in establishing a credible missile defense system, capable of detecting, intercepting and destroying medium- and long-range ballistic missiles.
Two new antiballistic missiles that can intercept IRBMs/ICBMs are being developed. These high speed missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) will be able to intercept ballistic missiles with a range of 5,000 km. These new missiles will be similar to the Theatre High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) missile deployed by the US. These missiles will travel at hypersonic speeds.
Looking at missile threats from the hostile neighborhood, India is eyeing an effective BMD system, with an overlapping network of early-warning sensors, command posts and anti-missile land- and sea-based missile batteries. Having tested its anti-missile defense system thrice, India is giving thrust on fully developing a two-tier BMD system, capable of tracking and destroying incoming hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth’s atmosphere.
Indian scientists are developing a laser based weapon system as part of the BMD to intercept and destroy missiles soon after they are launched towards the country. According to DRDO’s air defense programme director V K Saraswat, it is ideal to destroy a ballistic missile carrying nuclear or conventional warhead in its boost phase. Saraswat informs that it is an involved process and not just about producing lasers. Many systems like the surveillance and tracking systems need to be put together for such a system to work. It will take another 10-15 years for the premier defense research institute to make it usable on the ground.