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Indian Iron Dome: India Takes Aim at Building Its Own ‘Iron Dome’

Indian Iron Dome: India is developing its long-range air defence system comparable to Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome, with plans to deploy it by 2028-29.

The mobile, all-weather air defence system — capable of destroying stealth fighters, aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and other aerial threats — is being developed by India’s state-run Defense Research and Development Organization under an ambitious program called Project Kusha.

Capabilities of the LR-SAM

The system, which features an indigenous long-range surface-to-air missile dubbed the LR-SAM, is designed to provide comprehensive air defence cover to vulnerable strategic and tactical areas. With its ability to detect and engage targets at varying ranges, the system would significantly augment India’s defensive capabilities against regional threats, analysts say.

“This versatile and powerful system is poised to bolster the nation’s defence capabilities considerably,” said Rajesh Singh, an analyst at the Indian Defense Research Wing, a think tank. “The LR-SAM’s ability to neutralize hostile forces at different distances makes it a formidable deterrent.”

According to officials, the LR-SAM will have an interception range of up to 250 miles and be equipped with long-range surveillance and fire control radars. Several types of interceptor missiles are being developed, capable of destroying airborne targets at around 95 miles, 155 miles and 220 miles.

The system, which got approval this year at a development cost of $2.6 billion, can detect and track high-speed aerial threats with low radar signatures effectively, the Defense Research and Development Organization says. With its sophisticated technology, the system can achieve over 80 per cent accuracy for single missile launches and a 90 per cent success rate when fired in salvos.

Integration with Other Air Defense Systems

The LR-SAM batteries can also be interconnected with the Indian Air Force’s integrated air command and control system. This fully automated defence network integrates military radars with civilian ones to plug surveillance gaps.

Countering Regional Threats

Indian Iron Dome: India faces aerial threats from its nuclear-armed archrival Pakistan and an increasingly assertive China, which has built military infrastructure along their disputed border high in the Himalayas. China is also reported to have deployed several missile batteries facing India.

“LR-SAM will provide the country with its long-range air defence umbrella against surrounding missile threats before they can reach the mainland,” said Khushbu Aggarwal, an aerospace expert. “It will reduce India’s dependence on external vendors like Russia and Israel for critical military technology.”

However, some experts say India’s security environment differs markedly from Israel’s and question the strategic value of its Iron Dome clone. Developed by Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the original Iron Dome has been effective against short-range rockets fired by militants in Gaza.

“Israel faces very different aerial threats,” said retired Air Marshal V.K. Verma. “Also, India is already inducting medium and long-range Russian S-400 defence systems. Priorities and costs should be analyzed before pursuing costly duplication.”

India will likely receive two more S-400 squadrons from Russia in the coming year after deploying the first units in the western and eastern borders facing Pakistan and China.

The LR-SAM’s development and planned induction show India’s continued efforts toward insulating itself against missile threats through a multilayered air defence network. How its homemade system fares against the battle-tested defences of adversaries will be keenly watched.

 

Read More: Escalation in Gaza Conflict: Death Toll Soars as Israel Enters ‘Second Stage’

Andrew s

Andrew has been in the online publishing industry. After receiving his degree in professional journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, he contributed to multiple websites as a freelance writer and feature editor. Mostly, Andrew tackles controversies and theories that lead to a specific conclusion that either debunk or justify a particular claim. Further, Andrew participates in social developments that aim to simplify every individual's way of life and fight for peace. He is the new Editor-in-Chief of Pressroom Today.

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