Indian Missile Program Updates

What is VSHORAD Missile System?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: VSHORAD Missiles

Mains level: Man portable missiles and their significance


The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is set to procure the Very Short Range Air Defence System or VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system.

VSHORAD Missile System

  • Meant to kill low altitude aerial threats at short ranges, VSHORADS is a man portable Air Defence System (MANPAD).
  • It is designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners.
  • The missile is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor—incorporates many novel technologies including miniaturised Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which were successfully proven during the tests conducted last year.
  • The DRDO has designed the missile and its launcher in a way to ensure easy portability.

Unique features

  • Being man portable and lightweight compared to the other missile systems in the Army’s armoury, it can be deployed in the mountains close to the LAC at a short notice.
  • Others like the Akash Short Range Surface to Air Missile System are heavier with a theatre air defence umbrella.
  • They are perceived to be the best option for mountain warfare since they can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain.

Significance of the missile

  • The development comes amid the ongoing military standoff with China at the LAC in eastern Ladakh and reports of air violations by China along the LAC last year.
  • India has been in talks with Russia since 2018 to procure the Igla-S air defence missiles at a cost of $1.5 billion under the VSHORAD programme in a bid to replace the Russian Igla-M systems.


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