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Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary on Saturday visited the ‘Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo’ in Pune and said that the time has come to move on to newer technologies and with better quality radars and the Air Force will sign a new deal with L&T in a couple of days for the same. “This requirement to maintain air defence coverage over the entire country has always been existing. It is one of the major roles of the Air Force.

We have had vintage equipment, now the high-power radar and the long-range radars have served us very well for many years. Now, the time has come to move on to newer technologies and better-quality of radars.

So this new deal, which we are going to sign with L&T in a couple of days today, will open the way for a completely new technology in ground-based hyper radars,” he said. The Air Chief Marshal was briefed on AI initiatives by the 12 Base Repair Depot for training Agniveers and giving context to the speech.

“They will fill the voids that have existed in some places in our air defence network, and overall, they’ll strengthen the air defence capabilities of the country,” he added. Further, speaking on the closed-in weapon system, VR Chaudhary said that this system provides a wider link in the air defence network. “The threats that we face today are from a very wide spectrum. Starting from small drones to hypersonic weapons.

Having an air defence capability against this is always a challenge. Closed-in weapon system provides a wider link in the air defence network. We are signing a contract for 61 flights of this closed-in weapon system,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force’s Made in India Samar-II and Akash surface-to-air weapon systems are being showcased at the Defence Expo being held at Pune from February 24 to 26. The Samar-II system has been developed using the R-27 beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles, which can now intercept targets at longer ranges than its previous version, the Samar-1 air defence missile system. DRDO is showcasing the different types of rockets used by the Pinaaka multi-barrel rocket launcher system at the Expo. This includes the guided, extended range and Pinaka-Mark 1 rockets.