DRDO’s flight test of indigenous VSHORADS may save India huge import burden, says GlobalData
Following the news that India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested the Very Short-Range Air Defense System (VSHORADS) missile.
Tushar Mangure, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: “Indian Armed Forces have long been advocating for the procurement of advanced Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) to replace their inventory of aging Igla systems that have been in-service since the 1980s. The move is a vital requirement and is expected to enhance the air defense capabilities of the Indian Army.
“The successful test of the VSHORADS will act as a major boost to achieve self-reliance in defense equipment. The indigenous development of an advanced air defense system is also anticipated to augment the local R&D and manufacturing infrastructure, also paving the way for increased participation of private players in the defense sector. An air-to-air variant of the VSHORAD may also be developed in the future to equip India’s rapidly growing fleet of attack helicopters consisting of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Rudra. These helicopters are presently equipped with the French Mistral missile for aerial engagements.
“Due to the ongoing border conflict with China, the Indian Army has recently inducted a small batch of Russian Igla-S MANPADS consisting of 216 missiles and 24 launchers. However, there has been no progress regarding the larger $1.5 billion VSHORAD program for procurement of 5125 missiles, 1276 launchers, and the associated Transfer of Technology to facilitate local manufacturing. Given the present scenario and the immediate need, if the program meets all the requirements of the armed forces, it will reduce the need to import this essential equipment.”