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India deploys MRSAM near northwestern borders with Pakistan

The MRSAM system (pictured above) can intercept multiple targets at ranges up to 70 km. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed an air-defence system known as the medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) near India's northwestern borders with Pakistan, an IAF source told Janes on 9 October .

The MRSAM – which is the domestic variant of the Israeli-developed Barak-8 SAM system – is deployed at Air Force Station (AFS) Adampur in Jalandhar district, Punjab, the source added.

AFS Adampur is located nearly 100 km from the India-Pakistan border and is home to the IAF's 8 Wing, which is responsible for air defence.

The 8 Wing consists of No 47 and No 223 squadrons, which are primarily equipped with MiG-29UPG ‘Fulcrum' fighter aircraft.

In 2021 the IAF also deployed the Russian S-400 Triumf self-propelled SAM system at AFS Adampur.

The IAF began inducting MRSAM in September 2021, when the system was deployed at AFS Jaisalmer.

Janes reported at the time that the IAF plans to initially raise nine MRSAM squadrons comprising 24 MRSAM batteries – also referred to as firing units (FUs) – and a total of 2,000 Barak-8 missiles.

Apart from the IAF, the Indian Army raised its first MRSAM regiment in February along the line of actual control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh to provide air defence against Chinese aerial threats such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, and cruise missiles.

A naval variant of the MRSAM system was earlier deployed on a few front-line Indian Navy warships. In March the Indian Navy also conducted its maiden MRSAM firing from INS Mormugao .

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