Induction of MRSAM to significantly enhance Indian Air Force’s air and missile defense capability, says GlobalData

Following the news that Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the first Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) system;

Tushar M, Defence Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The addition of MRSAM is expected to augment the country’s aerial surveillance and air defense capabilities against a variety of aerial threats including combat aircrafts, rotorcrafts, missiles and UAVs at medium ranges. The MRSAM system offers point and area defense capability, and a naval variant, is already deployed on several surface combatants of the Indian Navy. Furthermore, the standardization of weapons system such as MRSAM across all the services is anticipated to greatly reduce the procurement, training and operational costs. It will also facilitate rapid integration of the MRSAM system into the country’s surveillance and air defense network.

“The state-of-the-art MRSAM system is a land-based variant of the Barak-8 Long-Range Surface-to-air Missile (LRSAM) naval air defense system and has been jointly developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to protect key military installations, army formations, and civilian centers.

“The MRSAM procurement is part of the comprehensive air defense modernization program undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces to replace the ageing and obsolescent Soviet era air defense systems such as SA-3, SA-6, and SA-8. Due to its advanced active radar seeker guidance, dual-pulse solid propulsion with thrust vector control, and two-way data link, the MRSAM is capable of effectively intercepting a wide range of advanced cruise and ballistic missiles.

“In the recent 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, the Barak-8 system of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces successfully intercepted the 9K720 Iskander short-range ballistic missile launched by Armenia. Hence, the induction of MRSAM into IAF’s and Indian Army’s arsenal will play a vital role in countering the threats posed by tactical and strategic missiles deployed by Pakistan and China.

“The program has played a key role in the development of indigenous R&D capabilities and manufacturing ecosystem in the missile domain. Crucial technologies developed under the MRSAM program are also expected to provide impetus to India’s indigenous missiles programs such as Astra Mark 2, Akash New Generation (NG), Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM), and the Vertical Launch-Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM).”

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