India confident of getting into NSG, says External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj | India is working with China to win support | India will not oppose any country's membership proposal, EAM told a news conference | India gets first women fighter pilots | A history was created when the three women fighter pilots conferred with the President’s Commission | The pilots are Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi, Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth and Flying Officer Mohana Singh | The commissioning ceremony, witnessed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, held at Air Force Academy, Dundigal | India joined the select few nations in the world that have women fighter pilots in their Air Forces | Boeing, Tata Establish Aerospace Facility in Hyderabad | Defence Minister Parrikar initiated the ground-breaking ceremony to establish the facility | India's indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft HTT-40 takes to the skies on inaugural flight June 17 | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar witnessed the flight in Bangalore | The HTT-40 was built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd | HTT-40 all set to be the IAF's trainer aircraft | Civil Aviation Ministry Unveils New Civil Avaition Policy | IAF MiG-27 Crashes near Jodhpur | The aircraft was airborne from Jodhpur Air Base and was on a routine training-flying sortie | The two pilots, onboard the fighter jet, ejected to safety | A Court of Inquiry ordered to investigate the accident | After Switzerland, Mexico supports India's entry into NSG | Modi thanks Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto after bilateral talks | Modi receives unprecedented applause in US Congress | Recalling Abraham Lincoln, Modi describes Capitol Hill as a Temple of Democracy | India will never forget the solidarity shown by the US against 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 | Modi supports cooperation in maintaining Freedom of Navigation in the Seas | India, US Civil Nuclear Deal changed bilateral ties | Modi describes terrorism as a big global threat and calls for isolation of those who harbour terrorism | India joins MTCR | Italy, which had blocked india's entry into the missile control regime, let it happen this time | President Obama had promised US help to India, and he has fulfilled it just as Prime Minister Modi is visiting Washington | India had applied for membership on June 1, and as there was no objection, its entry was automatic | Modi lays wreath at Space Shuttle Columbia memorial | India-born Kalpana Chawla was among the seven astronauts who perished in the tragedy in 2003 | Modi also meets Sunita Williams, another India-born astronaut | Hillary Clinton winning Democratic nomination for US presidency | Formal announcement in July | Switzerland categorically supports India for NSG membership | Mexico also expected to express support as US anchors India's entry into MTCR and NSG | Indian PM Modi lands in Washington June 6 for a bilateral summit | Entry into MTCR likely to be announced June 7 or 8 | Italy agrees to India's entry in the Missile Technology Control Regime after return of both its marines held in India | Prime Minister Narendra Modi Embarks on 5-day 5-nation Tour June 4 | The Prime Minister is to Visit Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, US and Mexico from June 4-8 | PM Modi inaugurated Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam in Herat, Afghanistan | Mr Modi Conferred with the Highest Civilian Honour of Afghanistan 'Amir Amanullah Khan Award' | President Ashraf Ghani bestowed the award to PM Modi after inauguration of the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam | India Signs Hague Code against Missile Proliferation | India, US Sign Arrangement for the Exchange of Terrorist Screening Information June 2 | The Arrangement Signed by US Ambassador Richard Verma and Indian Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi |
 

IAF orders Israeli Spyder Missile

 
By Our Special Correspondent Published : September 2008
 
 
 

New Delhi. India has signed an agreement with Israel to acquire 18 Spyder Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) to protect high-value assets of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The plans to acquire the Spyder had been announced in 2006 but were on hold due to allegations of corruption over the Israeli Barak missiles deal for the Indian Navy signed four years ago. But as neither the IAF nor the Navy and Army have adequate missile defence protection, the government has been under pressure to do the needful for several years.

The Spyder deal was signed on 1st September with Rafael and Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI). There was no formal announcement but sources indicated that the delivery schedule should be within two to three years.

Spyder is a static low level, quick reaction missile (LLQRM) to neutralize hostile targets up to 15 km away, and at heights between 20 to 9000 meters. The Indian Air Force will also acquire the indigenous Akash Surface to Air Missile which has a little longer effective range of 25 km as part of a layered approach to defend its assets.

Both the Spyder and Akash are all weather missiles, 24 x 7 and 360 degrees with autonomous management and advanced Electronic Counter Counter Measures (ECCM) capability. It can be launched within five seconds, and once the commander has pressed the button, the process to seek and engage an aggressive aircraft or missile is automatic.

The Spyder consists of the Python 5 IR guided, and Derby RF guided Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles, both with Lock-on Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock-on After Launch (LOAL) modes, for faster response time and improved engagement flexibility. Besides aircraft and UAVs, they can also neutralize low-level cruise missiles.

Each Spyder unit has four missiles in ready to fire launch containers for multi-target engagement, and up to six of these units can be deployed around one asset and under one commander.

The air force had sent a Request for Proposals (RfP) mid-2005 to Russia, France, South Africa, Switzerland, Israel, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

The Spyder was finally chosen after field trials of various missiles. It may be noted that the political leadership in 1990 had put a virtual block on all military purchase programmes, and there was no periodic replacement or upgradation of equipment for several years. The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force had been conserving the Soviet vintage weapons till 1999, when Pakistani occupation of territories on the Indian side of the border led to a war, and the routine replacement and acquisition process restarted.

The three services have been pointing out that their major assets, from airbases and ships to command headquarters, would be nearly “naked’ if there was an aggression and that a missile defence cover was required without any more delay.

All of them are now in various stages of acquiring defensive missiles with different ranges and capabilities, but it would be a few years – say 3 to 5 – for them to really an effective capability.

Meanwhile, the US ams technology major Raytheon has let it be known that it is offering its famed Patriot missile to the Indian Army in an international bid for Medium Range (MR) missiles – with a range of 60 km. The tenders for the RfP in this regard are due for submission in October.

Notably, the Indian armed forces are loaded with Soviet-vintage defensive systems like Pechora, IGLA and OSA-AK, and the top brass from the Army, Navy and Air Force has been asking for their replacement for years. A version of the Spyder is also being considered by the Indian Army, while the government is giving the go-ahead for collaboration with the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael to manufacture an advanced MR version of the Barak in India, with a range of up to 70 km for precision engagement of hostile aircraft.

Reports are that the Indian government has already sanctioned $ 2.5 billion in this regard for the missile’s manufacture in India under Transfer of Technology (ToT).

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which acquired an advanced Greenpine radar’s computer hardware from Israel some years ago, will be the nodal agency in this project. But then, the manufacturing and integration could be shared by both the public sector and private sector industries.

Once the project gets going, there are plans also for longer range versions of the missiles, moving in stages to 120 and 350 km.

Precision engagement capability, remote or autonomous guidance, everything is being worked out and the Israelis, with their mastery in electronics, are literally promising the moon.

 
  © India Strategic 
   
   
 
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