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Indian Air Force inducts SAMAR air-defence system

The SAMAR air-defence system – as seen at Aero India 2023 – uses Ashok Leyland vehicle mounted with refurbished R-73E missiles on rail launchers. (Janes/Rahul Udoshi)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the Surface to Air Missile for Assured Retaliation (SAMAR) system, an IAF source told Janes on 20 December.

According to the source, the service also test-fired the system in mid-December at Air Force Station Suryalanka located in the southern coastal region of India.

The source did not elaborate on the number of systems the service has inducted. However, another IAF official told Janes in February that the first batch will include five SAMAR units.

SAMAR is a short-range air-defence system jointly developed by the IAF's 7 Base Repair Depot (BRD) and 11 BRD in association with Indian private-sector companies Simran Flowtech Industries and Yamazuki Denki.

The system provides air defence against low-flying aerial targets with a maximum striking range of 12 km.

SAMAR employs the IAF's shelf-life-expired Russian Vympel R-73E infrared‐guided air-to-air missiles (AAMs). The AAMs are refurbished and upgraded to perform surface-to-air roles and the missiles can be launched in both single and salvo mode.

The system comprises launch beams, a fire-control unit, an electronic control unit, and auxiliary units including a self-loading knuckle crane, a power supply system, and a servo mechanism feedback unit.

SAMAR is intended to replace the IAF's Pechora systems, which have been in service since the 1970s.

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