At a Defence conference held in New Delhi, the Indian Army’s plan to intensify its air-Defence network was discussed besides its procurement plans to ward off any aerial threats. The conference was dubbed ‘Air and Missile Defence’ where several army and Defence officials, including Director General (DG) of Army Air Defence (AAD) Lt Gen Kuldip Singh, converged to highlight the need step-up air Defence.
Speaking at the conference, DG of Army Air Defence Lt.Gen Singh stated that India’s assets are prone to aerial threats and their protection at all times has become a top priority for the army. In order to achieve this, India is planning to acquire air Defence equipment varying from advanced simulators to training systems.
Lt.Gen. Kuldip Singh added that the lethality of an aerial threat must not be underrated and that 9/11 aerial attack on US is a reminder of that. He also added that the use of small aircraft as a weapon was demonstrated by LTTE, the Sri Lankan militant group, thereby reasserting the magnitude of its effect. Hence, an asymmetric air threat shrouds the Indian homeland security and it must be dealt with efficiency.
In March this year, the erstwhile Army Chief General VK Singh had already warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the country's security was at risk and that 97 per cent of the air Defence was obsolete. Added to this were various pointers at the dismal level of Defence preparedness in the country.
As for the Army Air Defence, various measures are being taken to combat aerial threats. To begin with, the Indian Army is looking at modernisation of the current inventory. Highly advanced training simulators and equipment as well as target systems are being incorporated to deter the growing threat. Another priority is the development or acquisition of advanced target system, pilot-less target aircraft, advance tracking systems to track efficacy of the Air Defence firing systems.
Other facets of the Army Air Defence are being generated by the College of Air Defence. For instance, development of a fully-automated control and reporting system aimed at generating and dispersing real time air surveillance picture of desired locations is being carried out. This system will be operational during peace and war time.
The main role of the Army Air Defence (AAD) is to collaborate with the Indian air force to safeguard the Indian skies and protect the air space from enemy infringement. These units also work along with Mechanized unit to strengthen their position at front posts. AAD mainly use air defense guns, surface to surface missiles, radars, communication equipment, simulators and other hardware.