In response to growing Chinese air defence capability India has taken various steps to secure its airspace. India is all set to sign much-awaited deal on S 400 air defence system. India will spend close to $4.5 billion to purchase five regiments of S 400 air defence system. This missile system will provide multi-layered air defence. The S 400 is a system integrated with multi-function radar, command and control system, autonomous detection and targeting systems and launchers.
India unlike China will integrate S 400 air defence missile battery with swordish long range AESA radar or Super Green Pine (ELM2080S) AESA radar. The Super Green Pine is made up of smaller sensor modules that are more powerful than those used by its predecessor. The EL/M 2080S has an approximate range up to 900 km, compared to 500 km on the original EL/M 2080. It can easily detect stealth aircraft,air-launched and land-based cruise missile, precision-guided missile.
Indian S 400 air defence system will have some elements of S-500 missile system which is currently under development. There are rumours suggesting that Chinese S-400 does not come with the 40N6 missile having 400 km range whereas India would get them. (This may be true because MTCR bans the export of offensive platforms such as strike missiles and drones with a range of more than 300 Kms.)
In case of any aggression from Pakistan air force. Pakistan air force may face difficulty in conducting air defence operation in its own airspace. Pakistan’s JF 17 has a decent weapon package but in order to launch cruise missiles like CM-400AKG which has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 4 (terminal phase) and a range of 240 km. JF-17 has to reach a cruising speed of between 750kph and 800kph at an altitude of between 26,200 feet and 39,400 feet. The JF-17 has to attain an altitude of either 26,200 feet or 39,400 feet in order to launch its two CM-400AKGs in ripple-fire mode, the element of surprise will be lost. Hence JF 17 may not hide itself from the long-range air defence radar of S 400.
India has initiated various step to boost its air defence. India will be deploying multi-layered air defence system to counter the growing Chinese threat. In the near future, India will deploy MR-SAM (Barak 8), QRSAM, AkashMK1, MK1S & MK2. India will replace the current PESA radar with much advanced 4D AESA Arudhra radar. This system has an instrumented range of 400 Km and is able to detect 2sqm RCS targets as far as 300 Km in range with the altitude coverage from 100 meters to 30 Kms. Inducting such medium powered radar will further stregthen indiginious air defence capabilty.
(To be continued)