India Developing Indigenous Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile System

  • 06 Nov 2023

India is currently in the process of creating its own Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) system, with plans for deployment by 2028-2029.

  • The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is spearheading this project, known as Project Kusha.

Key Points

  • Indigenous Defense System: The LR-SAM system is expected to be similar to the renowned Israeli Iron Dome air defense system, which has proven effective in countering missile attacks.
  • Comprehensive Capabilities: The LR-SAM system will have the capability to detect and intercept various threats, including stealth fighters, aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and precision-guided munitions, with a range of up to 350 km.
  • Project Kusha Overview: Project Kusha aims to equip India with a robust air defense system capable of identifying and neutralizing incoming threats.
  • It was approved as a "mission-mode" project by the Cabinet Committee on Security in May 2022.
  • Procurement Approval: In September, the Ministry of Defence authorized the acquisition of five squadrons of LR-SAM for the Indian Air Force at a cost of Rs 21,700 crore.
  • Collaboration: The development of the indigenous Iron Dome is a collaborative effort between DRDO, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and private sector entities.
  • Advanced Features: The LR-SAM system will incorporate long-range surveillance and fire control radars, offering reliable "area air defense" with high single-shot kill probabilities, comparable to the Russian S-400 Triumf air defense system.
  • Multilayered Defense: It will consist of three layers of surface-to-air missiles, each designed for engaging targets at different ranges: 150 km, 250 km, and 350 km.
  • Impressive Success Rate: The LR-SAM is expected to achieve an impressive single-shot kill probability of 80% or higher for single missile launches and 90% for salvo launches.
  • Target Range: It will be capable of intercepting fighter-sized targets at a range of 250 km and larger aircraft like Airborne Warning and Control Systems and mid-air refuelers at a range of 350 km.
  • Existing S-400 System: India already possesses the Russian S-400 air defense system, which has the capability to engage targets at distances of up to 400 km.