Russia’s Rosoboronexport is pitching the Igla-S system in the contest for the Indian Army tender for a Very Short Range Air Defense System (VSHORAD). And they’re confident of their chances against Saab’s RBS 70 NG and MBDA’s Mistral systems, besides the LIG Nex1 Chiron and the Thales Star Streak, which had also been invited to offer information on their system.
The Russian VSHORAD system is based on the Igla MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) and the Strelets control system. Heat seeking, Russian officials say the launcher can fire two missiles simultaneously, which is uncommon, as otherwise the missiles would end up targeting each other.
The officials also say that their system would offer advantages to the Indian Army as its existing stock of Igla missiles would be compatible with the new system and could be ‘fired from the launcher’. They cite further instances of potential for economies of scale, listing common training, maintenance processes and simulators, that they feel would give them an ab initio advantage.
Your correspondent found the 18 kilogram Igla MANPAD a formidable weight on his shoulder, but the seat-equipped launcher moved smoothly. The launcher comes with an Day and Night Thermal Imaging sighting system which also provided augmented data like range and height of the target in the viewer.
The Russian system is said to be able to operate in conditions of 80-85 percent humidity and has an endurance of nine hours in Indian conditions, up from six hours in Russia.