India’s Anti-Missile Defense Progress and Challenges

  Nov 09, 2023

India’s Anti-Missile Defense Progress and Challenges

India’s defense strategy, particularly regarding missile defense, has been evolving in response to regional security dynamics. The indigenous development of anti-missile systems gained traction after the Kargil conflict, reflecting the need to counter threats from neighboring countries.

The S-400 Triumph, acquired from Russia, is a multi-tiered missile defense system offering a mix of short- to long-range capabilities (up to 400 km). Its deployment is seen as a critical component in India’s strategic defense against aerial threats, including those from ballistic and cruise missiles.

The indigenous efforts have led to the creation of the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) for high-altitude interception and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile for lower altitude threats, designed to engage missiles up to 5,000 km. However, these systems have yet to be fully operationalized for national defense.

Furthering self-reliance, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on the Long Range Surface to Air Missile System (LR-SAM), under ‘Project Kusha.’ The aim is to match the capabilities of advanced systems like the S-400, providing comprehensive protection against a broader array of aerial threats.

The Israeli-Hamas conflict put a spotlight on anti-missile systems, particularly the Iron Dome’s performance. India’s ‘Project Kusha’ seeks to develop a system surpassing the Iron Dome, with long-range detection and neutralization capabilities, and even aiming to rival the U.S.’ Patriot system.

The evolving LR-SAM is expected to have a high kill probability, integrating with the IAF’s control systems to enhance Indian airspace defense. This development is particularly relevant given the strategic security concerns with China and the deployment of missile systems along the Indo-Tibetan border.

India’s pursuit of advanced missile defense systems like the LR-SAM signifies a crucial step in bolstering national security and countering the multi-faceted aerial threats at its borders.



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