‘Targets intercepted’: India conducts back-to-back tests of air defence weapon | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Targets intercepted’: India conducts back-to-back tests of air defence weapon

Mar 14, 2023 09:36 PM IST

The flight tests were carried out from a ground-based man portable launcher against high speed unmanned aerial targets, mimicking approaching and receding aircraft.

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday carried out two back-to-back tests of an indigenous air defence weapon, the very short-range air defence system (VSHORADS) missile, from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off the Odisha coast, the defence ministry said.

VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) meant for neutralising low altitude aerial threats at short ranges, the defence ministry statement said. (Twitter/SpokespersonMoD)
VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) meant for neutralising low altitude aerial threats at short ranges, the defence ministry statement said. (Twitter/SpokespersonMoD)

The tests come two months after the defence acquisition council (DAC) set the ball rolling to buy the VSHORADS, designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), for the army. DRDO, which conducted the twin tests successfully on Tuesday, has tested the weapon earlier too.

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“The flight tests were carried out from a ground-based man portable launcher against high speed unmanned aerial targets, mimicking approaching and receding aircraft. The targets were successfully intercepted, meeting all mission objectives,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The VSHORADS, a man-portable air defence system, can neutralise low altitude aerial threats at short ranges.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the missile, equipped with new technologies, would give further technological boost to the armed forces.

In January, DAC had cleared the purchase of military hardware worth 4,276 crore including the air defence weapon and indigenous helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missiles. DAC is India’s apex munitions procurement body.

Under India’s defence procurement rules, the acceptance of necessity (AoN) by the council is the first step towards buying military hardware.

Also read: 23 of DRDO’s 55 high-priority projects couldn’t meet deadlines, says Govt

The DAC’s clearance to the VSHORADS and other military hardware on January 10 was under the most important category of acquisition for indigenisation under the defence procurement policy, or the Indian-IDDM category. IDDM stands for indigenously designed, developed and manufactured.

This category has been accorded top priority for procurement of equipment. It refers to the purchase of military hardware from an Indian vendor, with the equipment having a minimum of 50% indigenous content (IC) on cost basis of the total contract value.

“In view of recent developments along the northern borders (with China), there is a need to focus on effective AD (air defence) weapon systems which are man portable and can be deployed quickly. Procurement of VSHORADS, as a robust and quickly deployable system, will strengthen air defence capabilities,” the ministry then said.

India has been locked in a border standoff with China for nearly three years. The army is swiftly upgrading its capability along the border with China with a variety of weapons and systems, including artillery guns, swarm drone systems that can carry out offensive missions in enemy territory, longer range rockets, remotely piloted aerial systems and high mobility protected vehicles, while also pursuing the development of light tanks for mountain warfare and futuristic infantry combat vehicles (FICVs).

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