INDIA

Why MR-SAM and S-400 are Crucial to keep PAF defensive

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and DRDO developed Medium Range surface to air missile (MRSAM) have started to be deployed on vulnerable airbases of Indian Airforce from 2016 onward and as production capabilities soon will touch 100 missiles per year, Airforce and Army is all set to nearly seal the western airspace with Pakistan with all new age air defence system which will force Pakistani air force to stay out of Indian airspace in event of war.

The MRSAM is an advanced, all weather, mobile, land-based air defence system. It can shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS aircraft. It is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets at ranges of more than 50 km. MRSAM is a land-based variant of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels. Each MRSAM system comprises a command-and-control system, mobile launchers, tracking radar and missiles


The MRSAMs, which will be on mobile launchers, will serve as India’s replacement for the Russian-built Kvadrat and OSA-AKM systems that India purchased in the 1970s and 1980s. India has been searching the open market for replacements for some years now, and previously rejected other offers because they didn’t contain sufficient technology transfer clauses.

In addition to that, DRDO is already working on QRSAM. The QRSAM is a quick reaction, all-weather and network-centric search-on-the-move missile system. It can engage multiple targets at a range of about 30 km with two vehicle configuration for area air defence.The missile is a truck-mounted one with 360 degree rotatable, electronic-mechanically operated, turret-based launch unit..

QR-SAM missile uses solid fuel propellant and has a stated range of strike range of 25-30 km. Truck-mounted canister makes the missile system increase the mobility of the missile system ten fold over Akash Air Defence System and there are also many other factors which hint that QR-SAM missile will be game changer missile system for Indian Armed forces and will be bigger Success then Akash Air Defence System.

DRDO’s QR-SAM Tactical Mobile Air-Defense system which is designed to move with Strike Corps and provide Air defense Cover to the attacking formation is another headache which PAF will have to deal with if it chooses to intervene and come to aid of Pakistani Army.

A S400 system uses six types of missiles as interceptors to target enemy aircraft, cruise missiles, drone & ballistic missiles these are The 400km(rumored to be up to 450km) range 40N6 Surface to Air strategic interceptor designed primarily to target ballistic missiles and strategic airborne platforms like Bombers, AWACS, ELINT Aircraft, Tankers & Transporters. This missile is reported to have an intercept speed of up to 17000kmph that means even an F-16Blk50 in clean configuration will find it impossible to get away from a 40N6 coming at it from 300-350km away.

The 200km & 250km range 48N6E2 & 48N6E3 that is primarily designed to hunt all types of targets travelling at up to 4800m/s.There are two shorter ranged interceptors called the 9M96E & 9M96E2 that guard against aerial threats at up to 40 & 120km ranges respectively.

In the long-range end game, S-400 with the ability to hit targets as far as 400km over enemy targets will ensure that Surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft even while flying well inside Pakistani airspace will have to be a bit extra careful and on defensive to ensure that they don’t provide Pakistani air force fighter fleet force multiplier advantage.

At first thought, one would assume that India has every incentive to station a number of S-400 systems – potentially up to three – in fairly close proximity to Pakistan. If equipped with the 40N6 missile, grounding the S-400 in the heart of Indian Punjab would enable India to stifle the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) from flying in key areas in its Central Command theatre (which is responsible for protecting Lahore, the country’s inland economic hub and second largest city). Similar positioning and results can be had in the south (in terms of Karachi) and the north (in terms of Kashmir).

The S400 has the potential to completely revolutionize any future conflict with Pakistan by denying the Pakistani air force the ability to operate freely within its own airspace. A single fire unit deployed near Jammu can control Pakistani Airspace all the way to Peshawar. Three such fire units controlled by a single battle management unit should be able to control all of Pakistani airspace east of the Indus.This has grave implications for Pakistan as a nation, consider the fact that Pakistan is only some 500km wide on average and the effect of a S400 controlling 300-350km of that airspace (deployed 50-100km behind the border) will be devastating to the Pakikstan Air Force.

Pakistani Army and Pakistani Air Force are known to fight their own separate wars without any synchronization and not as one unit as seen in the previous wars with India and in Kargil War, PAF in fact was completely out of the picture when IAF bombarded mountain tops where Pakistani army had intruded in Kargil War. Cutting edge air defense systems like MR-SAM and S-400 will ensure that Pakistani Air Force like in previous wars is not much of help to Pakistani Army.

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