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The grand spectacle of the Indian Army’s full-dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on January 13th, 2024, held on the majestic Kartavya Path, wasn’t just about marching bands and vibrant displays. It was a showcase of India’s growing military prowess, featuring cutting-edge equipment including the Army Variant of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM).

Previously, only the Air Force variant of the MRSAM, also known as the “Abhra” weapon system, had graced the Republic Day parade. This year, the unveiling of the Army Variant marked a significant milestone in India’s air defense capabilities.

The key difference between the two variants lies in their agility and maneuverability. While the Air Force variant mounted on a 6×4 tractor-trailer prioritizes stability for fixed deployments, the Army Variant embraces mobility. Mounted on a rugged 8×8 High Mobility Vehicle (HMV), this iteration is built for rapid deployment and swift relocation on diverse terrains.

The MRSAM program represents a successful collaboration between India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). But its impact extends beyond international partnerships. The project actively coinvolves Indian public and private defense industry partners, including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), fostering indigenous technological development.

The MRSAM system boasts an impressive range of around 70 kilometers and the capability to neutralize aerial threats like fighter jets, drones, and cruise missiles. This cutting-edge technology significantly bolsters the Indian Army’s air defense capabilities, providing a robust shield against airborne threats.

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