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The Indian Army’s air defence arsenal is set for a significant upgrade with the upcoming trials of the indigenously developed Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) missile. After successful developmental tests last year, the system is poised to undergo crucial user trials by June 2024, paving the way for potential induction within the next few years.

Developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in Hyderabad, VSHORAD marks a major milestone in India’s quest for self-reliance in air defence technology. The man-portable system is designed to neutralize low-altitude aerial threats like helicopters, drones, and fixed-wing aircraft, offering crucial battlefield protection to troops on the ground.

The VSHORAD’s capabilities have already been validated through its developmental trials at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur. Its success against high-speed unmanned aerial targets demonstrates its effectiveness in neutralizing even agile threats.

The upcoming user trials by the Indian Army hold the key to determining the system’s operational readiness. These trials will evaluate the VSHORAD’s performance in varied terrain and weather conditions, ensuring its suitability for real-world deployment. If successful, the system is expected to enter production within the next 2-3 years, with potential orders from both the Army and the Navy.

The induction of the VSHORAD would significantly enhance India’s air defence capabilities, particularly along its borders. Its ability to engage low-altitude threats fills a critical gap in the existing defence network, providing added protection against aerial incursions and drone attacks.

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