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India and Pakistan, South Asian neighbors with a long history of military tension, possess significant stockpiles of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). Despite having a smaller overall military force, Pakistan boasts a surprisingly larger inventory of MANPADS missiles compared to India.

Pakistan has a history of indigenous production of MANPADS. They’ve been producing the Swedish RBS-70 since 1984, with a total assembly of 2180 units before production ceased in 2019. Pakistan also manufactures its own MANPADS variants. The Anza MkI and MkII, produced by Kahuta Research Laboratories, number 1100 and 2650 units respectively. These are essentially Chinese FN-6 missiles assembled domestically under license since 1987. Adding to this arsenal are 1997 units of the FN-6 itself, directly imported from China.

Combining all these figures, Pakistan possesses a staggering 7927 MANPADS missiles compared to India’s current stock.

India’s current MANPADS inventory relies heavily on imports from Russia. They have around 2500 Igla-1M missiles, alongside 2250 Igla variants. India recently acquired 566 Igla-S missiles, a more advanced version of the Igla. However, this represents a much smaller number compared to imported systems.

India is looking to bridge the gap with domestically developed options. They plan to place orders for a new Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) currently under development by the DRDO.

While Pakistan has a clear numerical advantage, India’s Igla-S missiles offer superior technology for engaging modern aerial threats. India’s focus on domestic production of VSHORADS indicates a potential shift towards a more self-reliant MANPADS capability.

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