India’s ballistic missile defense system poses a significant challenge to Pakistan’s air defense capabilities, according to a new report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The report, titled “The Military Balance 2023,” states that India’s two-tiered ballistic missile defense system, comprising the Prithvi Air Defense Vehicle (PAD) and the Ashwin Advanced Air Defense (AAD) interceptors, “presents an immediate challenge to Pakistan’s ability to penetrate Indian airspace.”
IISS researcher Isabelle Levesques says that Pakistan’s subsonic Ra’ad and Babur land-attack cruise missiles are particularly vulnerable to interception by India’s ballistic missile defense system.
“Pakistan’s air defense posture is primarily focused on countering high-altitude threats such as fighter jets and bombers,” Levesques says in the report. “India’s development and deployment of a ballistic missile defense system has forced Pakistan to reconsider its air defense strategy.”
The report also notes that Pakistan is developing its own ballistic missile defense system, but it is unclear when it will be operational.
India’s ballistic missile defense system is a major component of the country’s layered air defense network. The system is designed to protect India from ballistic missile attacks from Pakistan, China, and other countries.
The PAD/PDV interceptor is designed to engage targets at exo-atmospheric heights ranging from 50 to 180 kilometers. The AAD interceptor is designed to neutralize threats at altitudes between 20 and 40 kilometers.
Both interceptor types have undergone multiple successful tests.
India’s ballistic missile defense system is a significant development that has implications for the security of the region. Pakistan will need to adapt its air defense strategy in order to counter the threat posed by India’s ballistic missile defense system.
In addition to the challenges posed by India’s ballistic missile defense system, Pakistan is also facing challenges from India’s conventional air defense network.
India’s conventional air defense network includes a variety of surface-to-air missile systems, including the S-400 Triumf, the Barak-8, and the Akash. India’s air defense network is also supported by a network of early warning radar stations.
Pakistan’s air force will need to find ways to penetrate India’s air defense network in order to carry out its missions. This will require Pakistan to develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) as well as new technologies.
The security environment in South Asia is becoming increasingly complex. India’s development of a ballistic missile defense system is just one of the many challenges facing Pakistan’s military. Pakistan will need to adapt its military strategy in order to address these challenges.