July 31, 2012
The Indian news media reported today that the local defence scientists are developing a new batch of surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, capable of intersecting and destroying targets up to a distance of 180 miles.
Avinash Chander, Chief Controller R&D (Missiles and Strategic Systems) at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) informed the media that the defence scientists are working hard to design the new missiles, which can improve the air defence capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces. Chander was attending a function at the Research Center Imarat (RCI), in Hyderabad.
Chander said that in addition to the new SAM systems, the scientists at DRDO are also working on new air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles. He claimed that upon the completion of the designing, the air-to-surface missile will be having an operational range of 250 miles, while the air-to-air missile will be capable of destroying targets up to a distance of 180 miles. He added that in addition to these three types of missiles, new submarine-launched, supersonic, and cruise missiles will be developed in the near future by the DRDO.
During the function at RCI, Chander praised the locally developed Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation (HILS) technique. He said that the HILS technology had helped the Indian defence industry enormously for the last 25 years, having a positive impact in various sectors such as avionics, and navigation systems. During the ceremony, the former Indian president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam also praised the role that the HILS played in the Indian defence field. Kalam worked as an aerospace engineer with the DRDO during the 1960s, before moving to the ISRO, where he remained until the 1980s.
The Indian army is already in the possession of one locally developed SAM system, the Akash missile. However, the missile is having a range of only 18 miles, and is incapable of targeting airborne targets at far away distances. In addition to the Akash missile, India is also in the possession of foreign made SAM systems such as the Pechora, 9K22 Tunguska, and Barak.