Science & Tech Security Issues

VSHORAD Missile System

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is planning to buy the Very Short Range Air Defence System, also known as the VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system.

Missile System VSHORAD

  • VSHORADS is a man-portable Air Defence System designed to eliminate low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges (MANPAD).
  • It is designed and developed entirely in India by the DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian industry partners.
  • The missile is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor and incorporates many novel technologies, such as a miniaturised Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which were successfully demonstrated during last year’s tests.
  • The missile and its launcher were designed by the DRDO to be portable.

Characteristics that are unique

  • Because it is man portable and lightweight in comparison to other missile systems in the Army’s arsenal, it can be deployed in the mountains near the LAC on short notice.
  • Others, such as the Akash Short Range Surface to Air Missile System, are more powerful and come with a theatre air defense umbrella.
  • They are thought to be the best option for mountain warfare because they can be deployed quickly in difficult terrain.

Significance of the missile

  • The development comes amid an ongoing military standoff with China along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, as well as reports of Chinese air violations along the LAC last year.
  • Since 2018, India has been in talks with Russia to purchase Igla-S air defence missiles for $1.5 billion through the VSHORAD program, in order to replace Russian Igla-M systems.
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