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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been asked to develop a new weapon system to bolster the Indian Navy’s defences: the Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) primarily developed for the Indian Army will also be designed to function primarily as a point-defence weapon, similar to the Raytheon-developed Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) used on US Navy warships for Indian Warships.

The Indian Navy faces a growing threat from loitering munitions and low-cost, sub-sonic cruise missiles. These agile and often inexpensive weapons can potentially cripple or destroy warships. VSHORADS is specifically designed to address this vulnerability.

VSHORADS is just one piece of the puzzle in the Navy’s air defence strategy. The Indian Navy will also utilize Astra Mk1 Based Vertical Launch – Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) for added protection against incoming aerial threats. This two-pronged approach with VSHORADS handling close-in threats and VL-SRSAM engaging targets at slightly longer ranges provides a robust defense against various aerial adversaries.

For higher-altitude threats like ballistic missiles and high-speed aircraft, the Navy relies on Medium Range Surface Air Missile (MR-SAM) and Long Range Surface Air Missile (LR-SAM) systems, including Project Khusha. This comprehensive layered defence network ensures the Navy can effectively counter a wide spectrum of aerial attacks.

The addition of VSHORADS strengthens the Indian Navy’s defensive capabilities, particularly against emerging threats like loitering munitions. This indigenous system, along with other existing and upcoming technologies, will play a vital role in safeguarding India’s maritime interests.

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