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India test-fires very short-range air-defence system

VSHORADS – pictured above from a DRDO test in March 2023 – is a tripod-launched missile system designed to strike moving aerial targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and fighter aircraft. (DRDO)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two of its very short-range air-defence system (VSHORADS) missiles from a ground-based portable launcher, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a press release on 29 February.

The tests were conducted on 28 and 29 February from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, the MoD said.

β€œThese tests were carried out against high-speed unmanned aerial targets under different interception scenarios. During all the test flights, the targets were intercepted and destroyed by the missiles, meeting the mission objectives,” the MoD added.

A DRDO official told Janes on 1 March that the tests were a part of the developmental process of the missiles.

β€œThe user trials [of the missiles] with the Indian Army are expected to start from late June or early July and after the user trials [are] completed, the army will place an order for VSHORADS. It may take nearly three years to complete the user trials and contract award [for the supply of the systems],” the DRDO official said.

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of VSHORADS missiles for the Indian Army in January 2023.

According to the MoD, VSHORADS is a manportable air-defence system (MANPADS) meant to neutralise low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges.

The MoD said VSHORADS is designed and developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian industry partners.

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