Air Defence India 2014 will be organised on 24-25 July 2014.
With the evolving air threat and the growing impact of air power on the outcome of conflict, the need for an effective Air Defence capability for air, land and naval operations has become particularly relevant in the current scenario of rapid technological advancements in avionics, stealth technology and precision strike capabilities of multiple aerial threat vehicles. Combat power cannot be sustained without a responsive and contemporary Air Defence. While the severity and lethality of the air threat continues to grow in all its multifarious dimensions, there is a time critical need for modernization of the Corps and upgrade of its existing inventory.
With recent initiatives in procurement, Indian Air Defence Corps is moving from near obsolescence to a crucial force for protecting military bases, frontline airbases, tank regiments, warships and also strategic assets.
India aims to spend $5.4 billion to buy some 1,000 missile launchers and 6,000 missiles for its Very Short-Range Air-Defence System (VSHORADS) alone.
India is looking at systems that can be deployed in multiple configurations and can be used by the Army, Air Force and Navy - from man-portable that can easily lifted by troops in rugged mountain areas and carried to newer locations to fully automated self propelled systems.
In the plains, the requirement is to fit it with a twin-launcher and base it on a high-mobility vehicle so that it can accompany the tank regiments to battle or be at airbases and other high-value targets like nuclear plants.
India has launched the procurement process for three types of SAMs - medium-range, quick-reaction and man-portable short-range missile systems - to replace the air defence corps' old Russian-origin Kvadrat, Strela and other systems.
These will be in addition to two regiments of the indigenous Akash systems, whose deliveries have been completed. The IAF has also got eight Akash squadrons - six of them based in the north-east to counter China.
Besides, a project is underway to upgrade about 50 Shilka ZSU-23/4 anti-aircraft armoured vehicles, which are equipped with four 23mm automatic cannons each, and imported from Russia in the mid-1980s. Simultaneously, the Army air defence units are also on course to induct about 30 three-dimensional tactical control radars, which can track airborne targets up to 90-km away, and over 15 low-level light-weight radars, which can be used in mountainous terrain.
The lethality and the severity of the air threat today has increased manifold. This threat perspective has moved beyond its erstwhile scalar dimension of manned aircraft as the main 'threat vehicle' including attack helicopters with new players like UAVs, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, precision guided munitions and more, have added new perspective to the aerial offensive capability. This coupled with contemporary and enabling technologies like stealth, soft kill and electronic warfare have revamped the aerial punch into a potent and a viable weapon.
Putting up an effective counter to the above threat, not only calls for a family of Ground and Air Based Weapon Systems of matching technologies, but also, demands a continuous cycle of their upgrade with concurrent technologies necessary to match the pace of developments in avionics and airborne weapon systems.
The modernization road map envisages a vibrant Air Defence force which will be equipped with a range guns and missile systems capable of meeting the challenges posed by the emerging air threat over the next few decades. These weapon systems would be networked on an automated Control and Reporting (C&R) system integrated to the C&R systems of the Indian Air Force.
Major milestones have already been achieved by the Indian DRDO and international arms industry in the field of modernization of Ground Based Air Defence Weapon Systems. A modern Indian Air Defence is envisaged to be equipped with a balanced mix of indigenous as well as foreign origin systems.
The Seminar will sensitise the industry, both indigenous as well as international, on the specific requirements of Air Defence and to seek their suggestions which would enable preparation of a pragmatic road map for modernization of the Corps of Army Air Defence.