“The frontier base is already at the highest state of alert.” The Hindustan Times said on June 28 that the Indian army once again strengthened its military deployment against China in the Ladakh region, the core of which is multi-type air defense missiles. In particular, the Indian media cheered that the Indian-made weapon star “Akash” air defense system has also entered the region, “enough to restrain any air targets.” However, Chinese experts interviewed by the Global Times said that in the air defense system deployed to Ladakh in India, the actual performance of “Akash” is limited, but the threat of the “Spider” air defense system introduced from Israel is even more threatening. . But overall, the Indian air defense network is very imperfect, lacking an advanced long-range air defense system, and air-ground coordination is also a problem.
“Akash” is a difficult task
“Hindustan Times” said that after the conflict between the Chinese and Indian border defense forces in the Galvan Valley, India has deployed a multi-type air defense system in the Ladakh area on the 27th, including the domestic “Akash” medium-range air defense system, from The “Sped” air defense system introduced by Israel and the Russian-made Sam series of air defense missiles. “India Times” said that the “Akash”, which took 40 years to develop, will significantly enhance India’s air defense firepower in eastern Ladakh, enough to deter China. As an air defense system developed by India, “‘Akash is very effective for any air target.”
Chinese experts interviewed by the “Global Times” said that the Indian media said that “Akash” is very effective for any air target, obviously exaggerating its combat performance. “Akash” is obviously technically referenced to the Soviet Union’s old Sam-6 anti-aircraft missile, using an advanced ramjet rocket engine from the 1960s. This kind of engine can use the oxygen in the air to support combustion, and under the same technical conditions, it can obtain a longer range with a relatively light projectile. However, from the current perspective, this missile itself is no longer advanced.
Experts said that “Akash” is advanced in guidance radar. It uses “Rajadra” passive phased array fire control radar, which can track 64 targets and intercept 4 at the same time. Generally speaking, it is one to two generations more advanced than the Sam-6 using a parabolic antenna. However, “Akash” as a medium and short-range air defense missile system, the maximum range does not exceed 30 kilometers. And its position characteristics are more obvious, and the radar is easy to locate. Once positioned, it becomes easier to effectively interfere and crack down on it.
“Spider” is more threatening
Experts said that among the current anti-aircraft missiles equipped by the Indian Army, the Sam-2, Sam-3, Sam-6, and Sam-5 models purchased during the Soviet era were too old, making it difficult for them to take the lead in modern warfare. “Akash” can only be regarded as second-class in technology, but it is also a domestic model that has served in this century. This time, the Indian media have vigorously promoted “Akash”, perhaps to “encourage” the people of India.
But this does not mean that India’s air defense systems deployed to Ladakh are all like goods-the “Spider” air defense missiles that are inconspicuous in the Indian media are quite threatening. This air defense missile uses the ground-launched type of “Python-5” and “Derby” air-to-air missiles, and is a family of three systems including short-range, medium-range and long-range. Judging from the currently published photos, India should introduce the “Spider-SR” system with a maximum range of 20 kilometers. Its threat lies in good maneuverability and strong attack concealment. This air defense system uses the ELM-2106 three-coordinate radar, which is not easy to trigger the radar alarm of the other fighter. The infrared photoelectric tracking ball equipped on the launch vehicle also passively detects the target, and launches the “Python-5” and “Derby” missiles. The maneuverability is very high, with strong anti-jamming capability. In particular, the “Python-5” missile uses dual-band infrared imaging guidance. Once it encounters an ambush, it is difficult for the other fighter to get rid of and interfere. Experts said that the “Spider” launch vehicle can also operate independently and has a very good maneuverability. If it is deployed around the opponent’s fighter’s possible attack route to ambush, it can pose a considerable degree of threat.
High altitude air defense operations require high
However, the special geographical environment of the Ladakh region poses a challenge to the effectiveness of the Indian air defense system. Experts said that the technical and tactical performance of air defense missiles in the plateau area will change, for example, the launch envelope will change subtly. If the correction and inspection are not done properly, the shooting accuracy of the border target will be greatly affected. In addition, due to the thin air in the plateau area, some electronic devices are prone to breakdown and other phenomena, which may lead to an increase in the system failure rate.
On the other hand, because the mountainous terrain has relatively large terrain, it is not conducive to the maneuvering of the air defense missile system, and the choice of positions is also relatively large. If an air defense position is deployed in a canyon, high mountains will obscure the radar’s field of view, reducing the ability to detect and resist low-altitude targets. If it is deployed on the top of a mountain or high ground, it is easy to expose its own location, and it is difficult to find a suitable site for the deployment of the whole system.
Experts said that the greater problem of India’s air defense operations is the imperfect air defense system, the lack of advanced mid-range and mid-air defense systems, and the inability to form a complementary air defense firepower network. Relying solely on “Akash” and “Spider” and other old- and medium-range short-range air defense missile systems, it is easy to be suppressed by missiles launched outside the defense zone, anti-radiation missiles, and even medium- and long-range rockets on the ground. I am afraid this is also the reason why the Indian military is anxious to request Russia to provide the S-400 long-range air defense system.
In addition, the air-to-ground coordination capabilities of the Indian air defense force and aviation are also not very optimistic. In the Indian-Pakistani conflict last year, the Indian army “Sped” shot down a domestic helicopter. Once a fierce aerial confrontation occurs, I am afraid that the most worried about “Akash” and “Spider” are the pilots of the Indian Air Force.