News Excerpt:

Indian Army gets 100 portable Igla-S Air defence systems to be deployed at China, and Pakistan borders.

More about the news: 

  • The Indian Army has received the first batch of Igla-S Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) from Russia. 
  • These systems enhance the Army's Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) capabilities, particularly in high mountainous terrain along the northern border. 
  • The procurement includes domestic production in India, with one regiment already deploying the systems. 
  • This acquisition replaces outdated Igla-1M systems and aligns with plans for future indigenous VSHORAD advancements.
  • This procurement is a significant one, as opposed to the smaller emergency purchase made in 2021.

Capabilities of Igla-S:

  • The Igla-S is a hand-held defence system that can be operated by an individual or crew. 
  • It is designed to bring down low-flying aircraft and can also identify and neutralise air targets such as cruise missiles and drones.
  • According to a report in The Defense Post, the Igla-S air defence system comprises the 9M342 missile, the 9P522 launching mechanism, the 9V866-2 mobile test station, and the 9F719-2 test set. 
  • The Igla-S systems are intended for new air defence formations for high mountainous terrain along the northern border. 
  • MANPADS are portable surface-to-air missile systems.
  • The air defence units in high mountainous regions use MANPADS to neutralise low-altitude aerial threats such as aircraft, drones, and missiles.

Russian Contract and Indigenous Production:

  • India signed a contract with Russia in November last year for 120 launchers and 400 missiles. While the first batch has come from Russia, the rest of these systems will be made in India through Transfer of Technology (ToT) from Russia by an Indian company.

Significance and Replacement of Igla-1M:

  • The Igla-S acquisition addresses the Indian Army's need to replace the outdated Igla-1M systems. This move is crucial due to the obsolescence of existing air defence systems.

Future Plans and DRDO Tests:

  • Once the current requirement is fulfilled, the Indian Army plans to replace the older Igla systems with advanced laser-beam riding and infrared VSHORADS
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently conducted two flight tests of indigenous VSHORADS missiles, indicating progress in this direction.
  • The acquisition of the Igla-S MANPADS marks a significant step in enhancing India's air defence capabilities, particularly in mountainous regions. 

India- Russia Defence relation:

  • India enjoys friendly relations with Russia, including notable deals about arms and weapons among other bilateral agreements. 
  • In a report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed that India's arms imports increased by 4.7 percent between 2014–2018 and 2019–2023, with Russia retaining main-arms-supplier status, accounting for 36 percent of its arms imports.
  • However, an increase in imports is concerning amid the push for the "Make-in-India" initiative. 

Book A Free Counseling Session