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Leaked sketches have revealed India’s progress on a crucial element of its long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) program. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a mobile High Power Radar (HPR) designed to bolster the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) air defence capabilities.

This HPR system could be a vital component of the upcoming LRSAM program. The radar, with a weight of 30 tons and a transportable antenna measuring 10 meters by 6 meters, will provide superior detection capabilities. The carrier vehicle boasts a 60-ton load capacity and a travel speed of 20 kilometres per hour, ensuring mobility for deployment across various terrains.

The LRSAM system, envisioned by DRDO, is designed to neutralize a wide range of aerial threats. This includes stealth fighters, conventional aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). With a projected range of nearly 350 kilometres, the LRSAM promises to significantly enhance IAF’s ability to safeguard Indian airspace.

The LRSAM program, codenamed “Project Kusha,” is currently in its initial design phase. The IAF anticipates operational deployment of the complete LRSAM system by 2028-2029. This timeline signifies India’s commitment to developing a robust indigenous air defence system.

The HPR’s 10m x 6m antenna hints at its powerful radar capabilities. This system is designed to detect and neutralize a wide range of aerial threats, including:

  • Stealth fighters
  • Conventional aircraft
  • Ballistic and cruise missiles
  • Precision-guided munitions
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

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