So there's a lot going on in the Indian Defence Sector (no, we are not talking about the Bofors case reopening) and it looks like our defence system is expanding its weapons base by home-growing and internationally acquiring weaponry that is meant to intimidate troublemakers and keep them at bay. Three recent developments that caught our eye, and we'll lead with Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, unveiling a long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) and beyond visual range (BVR) missile systems, earlier this week.
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The LRSAM, is one product of a $2 billion missile deal between Indian Ministry of Defence and Israel Aerospace Industries. You can expect medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAM) and other missile defence systems to come out of this deal in the future. The missiles are being developed at facilities Bharat Dynamic Ltd., under the supervision of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). But what can this LRSAM do?
According to a report, the LRSAM can be loaded on to "INS Vikrant, Visakhapatnam-class guided missile destroyers, Kolkata-class destroyers, Kamorta-class anti-submarine warfare corvettes, and the still to be constructed future Project 17A class of stealth frigates" and on being deployed, combat any kind of airborne threat, from aircrafts to ballistic missiles, and conduct both, land and air, surveillance.
ASTRA, another missile system developed by the DRDO, was inaugurated by Mr. Jaitley. The ASTRA system is a state of the air-to-air BVR missile with a short and long target engagement ranges of 20-110km.
Hang on, there's more to be proud of. India's very own howitzer gun system, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), set a new world record by firing three shells at a long target range of 47.2km, at Pokhran, Rajasthan. Designed and developed by the DRDO in collaboration with Tata Power and Bharat Forge, this 155mm, 52 calibre gun system has a 25 litre chamber that gives it competitive edge over other howitzer guns. Great work, DRDO!
But that's not it. The Indian Air Force successfully completed testing out the S-400 Triumf missile system that it has been in talks of acquiring from Russia. This missile system can reportedly target anything between 100 and 300 threats on its radars and within a range of 400km, engage up to 32 of them, simultaneously. It appears that the S-400 is expected to be deployed in protection against Pakistan and China, and negotiations for contract with Russia will be in process, soon. In the meantime, check out this system in action: