Why is India not developing its own missile defense system similar to the S-400?

India has it’s Own Ballistic Missile System.Indian ballistic missile defence system provides a two-layered shield – ‘exo’ and ‘endo’. What this effectively means is that the system provides protection both against ballistic missiles that are outside (exo) as well as inside (endo) the earth’s atmosphere. In the March 1 test, the endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kms successfully destroyed the incoming missile. All the mission objectives were successfully met, says DRDO.

 The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket-propelled guided missile. It is equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator. The interceptor missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.

In its current iteration, India’s BMD is a two-layered system. Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) is supposed to tackle incoming missiles at ranges of 80-120 km (exo-atmospheric interception). On the other hand, the advanced air-defense (AAD) mainly consists of Akash Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM) that can intercept incoming missiles at ranges of 15-30 km (endo-atmospheric interception). If the PAD system is devised for mid-course interception, the AAD is a terminal phase interception system which can only counter incoming missiles after their entry into the atmosphere. In their present configuration, these systems are designed to counter missiles with range close to 2,000 km traveling at speeds ranging from Mach 3 to Mach 8.

It consists of few important components. At first there is SwordFish Long Range Tracking Radar , which is the target acquisition and fire control radar for the PAD missile. It is an active phased array radar having capability to track 200 targets at a range of 600 km. ‘Swordfish’ Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR). The Swordfish LRTR has been developed jointly by India and Israel. It is based on the Israeli Green Pine early warning and fire control radar imported by India from Israel in 2001-2002.



DRDO is developing a very long range air defense system. This has not been picked up by the Indian Main stream media much. The coverage was spotty. And DRDO is playing its cards quite close to its chest, as it should.

XRSAM will be used to bridge the gap between MR-SAM (70 km) and S-400 (400 km) Air Defence System and will be using spin-off technologies developed for countries Anti-Ballistic missile Defence system.XR-SAM will complement the S-400 systems in their role and filling the need for a robust Multi-Layered Air Defence System and a family of Ground Based Air Defence Weapon Systems (GBADWS)

The total system will be consisting of two different surface to air missiles. One will have 250km range another will have 400km range.

XR-SAM is actually a spin-off of the AAD-1 endo-atmospheric interceptor with a service ceiling of 120 km and has supposedly Anti-Ballistic Missile features though its not confirmed.

India is buying two different type of surface-to-air missile for its S-400 system : 40N6 ( range : 400 km ) and 48N6 ( range : 250 km ). XR-SAM will have active radar homing guidance GaN ( Gallium Nitride ) based UHF radars aimed at engaging Aircrafts , Cruise Missiles , Unmanned Drones and even ballistic targets.

DRDO is yet to confirm if XRSAM Air Defence Missile system will consist of one or two different type of missile system yet but there are unconfirmed reports indicating that system will be capable of simultaneously engaging cruise missiles, aircraft and ballistic targets, hinting of using two slightly different missile configuartion of same type .

XRSAM Air Defence Missile system might utilize same network grid deployed for Anti-Ballistic missile Defence system and might be working as part of large umbrella air defence network grid consisting of ABM, S-400 and XRSAM surveillance ,guidance, tracking network of radars .

XRSAM might be ready for developmental and engineering trials by 2020 .

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