Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is embarking on a momentous journey to fortify the country’s air defence capabilities through the expansion of the Extended Range Air Defence System (ERADS). The ambitious Project Kusha is all set to unveil a cutting-edge Interceptor missile, poised to catapult India’s aerial defence prowess to new heights.
Initially, the ERADS Air Defence system was designed to include two Interceptor missiles. The first was the ERSAM (Extended Range Surface to Air Missile) Interceptor Air Defence missile, based on the MR-SAM Air Defence system which is a collaborative effort between India and Israel.
The ERSAM is equipped with an additional booster stage, enabling it to intercept aerial targets from sub-sonic cruise missiles to fighter jets with an impressive range of up to 150km. The second Interceptor missile, known as XR-SAM (eXtra-long Range Surface to Air Missile), was designed to have an extended range of 250km against fighter-sized targets and an astounding 350km against force multipliers such as AWACS and Flight Refueling Aircraft.
Building upon this already robust air defence system, the DRDO has decided to introduce a third Interceptor missile, further enhancing India’s capabilities. This new Interceptor missile will be based on India’s Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) program and will have the capability to engage aerial targets like fighter jets at a remarkable range of up to 400km. Additionally, the new Interceptor missile will also have limited capabilities to neutralize Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM) and Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM), adding another layer of defence against potential threats.
The inclusion of this new Interceptor missile will bolster India’s air defence preparedness, allowing the nation to respond effectively to a wide range of airborne threats. With its extended range and advanced capabilities, India’s air defence forces will gain a formidable edge in safeguarding its airspace.