New Delhi: The Very Short Range Air Defence System or VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) received an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday.
The new development coincides with allegations of China’s air breaches near the LAC last year as well as the current military stalemate with China in eastern Ladakh.
Since 2018, India has been indulging in dialogue with Russia to acquire the Igla-S air defence missiles under the VSHORAD programme with an aim to replace the Russian Igla-M currently used by the Indian army. This, however, is moving at a snails pace.
Now with an AoN, it has been indicated that the government is pushing for self-dependence – or Atmanirbharta – in the defence sector. The procurement of the VSHORAD missile is a clear example.
What Is The VSHORAD Missile System?
On September 27, 2022, the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, was the site of two successful test launches by the DRDO of the Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile.
In conjunction with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners, the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad conceived and created the Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) known as VSHORADS.
Numerous unique technologies, including integrated avionics and a miniaturised Reaction Control System (RCS), have been successfully tested and are included in the VSHORADS missile.
The missile is driven by a dual-thrust solid motor and is designed to eliminate low-altitude aircraft threats at close ranges.
The missile’s design, including the launcher, has undergone extensive optimisation to ensure mobility. The mission goals have been fully satisfied by both flying tests.
Although the technical details of the missile are not yet known, Army commanders have indicated that because it is more portable and lightweight than the other missile systems in the Army’s arsenal, it can be quickly deployed in the mountains close to the LAC. A man could carry it.
An officer told The Indian Express that there was “a critical gap in the Army’s inventory when it came to man-portable air defence missiles, especially for the eastern and northern borders, though not so much for the western borders with Pakistan, for which India has the Soviet-era OSA AK missile systems.”
When Will VSHORAD Be Inducted?
The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) is a primary step in the long procurement process. The AoN may or may not transform into a final order. If there is a final order, the funding, manufacturing, and induction will take at least four years to complete.