Indian Air Force Updates

Project Akashteer: Indian’s Air Defence Upgrade


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Project Akashteer

Mains level: Advanced Air Defence Technologies

akashteer akash

Central Idea

  • Reorientation of focus: Indian Army shifts focus from western to northern borders following 2020 standoff with China.
  • Lessons from Ukraine conflict: Insights from ongoing war in Ukraine are influencing transformation of Army Air Defence (AAD).
  • Induction of new systems: New systems are being inducted to enhance air defence capabilities.

What is Project Akashteer?

  • Networking and automation: Project Akashteer aims to establish networking and automation capabilities similar to Indian Air Force’s system.
  • Comprehensive air defence picture: Project Akashteer focuses on building a comprehensive air defence picture for monitoring, tracking, and engaging air defence assets.
  • Implementation target: The project aims to complete implementation by March 2024 for integration of radars, control centres, and weapons.

Shifting Focus and New Technology

  • Shift in focus: Indian Army shifts focus from western border to northern borders.
  • Mountainous air defence requirements: The need for lightweight radars and mobile weapon systems to cater to requirements in mountainous regions.
  • Consideration of new threats: Insights from Ukraine conflict prompt consideration of new threats such as UAVs, loitering munitions, swarm drones, and cruise missiles.

Induction of New Systems

  • Improved Akash surface-to-air missile systems: Contract signed for two regiments of improved Akash systems to enhance air defence capabilities.
  • Collaboration with Israel: Collaboration with Israel for the induction of medium-range surface-to-air missile project.
  • Development of quick reaction systems: Indigenously developing quick reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM) to meet critical air defence needs.
  • Exploration of air defence guns: Ongoing efforts to procure air defence guns to strengthen air defence capabilities.

Challenges and Indigenization

  • Component shortage: Global shortage of components and hardware due to the Ukraine conflict affecting the pace of inductions.
  • Emphasis on indigenization: Focus on promoting indigenization and reducing dependence on imports for air defence systems.
  • Revitalization of modernization: Revival of Army Air Defence modernization with emphasis on indigenous development and procurement.

Significance of the project

  • Strengthened air defence capabilities: Focus on enhancing air defence capabilities for robust border security.
  • Improved monitoring and coordination: Integration and automation initiatives enhance monitoring, coordination, and situational awareness.
  • Enhanced border preparedness: Contribution to enhanced border preparedness and response capabilities.

Way forward

  • Continued research and development: Focus on continuous research and development to stay ahead of evolving threats and challenges.
  • International collaboration: Collaboration with international partners to incorporate advanced air defence systems and technologies.
  • Integration of advanced technologies: Integration of technologies like AI and machine learning to enhance air defence operations and effectiveness.
  • Innovation and efficiency: Focus on innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness in future air defence strategies.

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