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Indian Air Force test-fires SAMAR air-defence system

The SAMAR air-defence system – seen here at Aero India 2023 – features two refurbished Russian Vympel R-73E infrared‐guided air-to-air missiles mounted on a Stallion 4×4 Mk IV BS-III truck. (Janes/Saketha Potlapalli)

The Indian Air Force test-fired its newly inducted Surface to Air Missile for Assured Retaliation (SAMAR) air-defence system during Exercise ‘Vayu Shakti-24', which took place in the Pokhran range near Jaisalmer on 17 February.

According to a press release by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 17 February, the Indian Air Force test-fired SAMAR – along with the Akash surface-to-air missile weapon system – which destroyed “multiple aerial targets”.

SAMAR was inducted into the air force in December 2023, when the service first test-fired at Air Force Station Suryalanka, located in the southern coastal region of India.

SAMAR is a part of India's short-range air-defence system, and it can intercept low-flying aerial targets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, loitering munitions, and attack helicopters, up to a range of 12 km at a maximum speed of Mach 2.5.

The system is developed by the Indian Air Force's 7 Base Repair Depot (BRD) and 11 BRD in association with Indian private-sector companies Simran Flowtech Industries and Yamazuki Denki.

The service showcased the system for the first time in February 2023 at the Aero India 2023 defence exhibition.

In its 2023 year-end report, the MoD said the air force “successfully indigenised” the prototype of a ground-based platform for firing air-to-air missiles (AAMs) under project SAMAR, and the fabrication of SAMAR Firing Units (FUs) was successfully completed in 2023.

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