Russia to Raise Self-propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System Deal with Defence Minister

Defence Industry, Indian Army

New Delhi: There are indications that Russia may raise the discussions on Self Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD-GMS) project for India during the visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Moscow next week.

Russia is expected to raise this on the sidelines of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) meeting, sources said.

As part of its exercise to sell defence equipment, Russia may ask India to re-consider its decision to sign the deal with Hanwha Defense Systems of South Korea, sources said.

A very senior Indian Army official confirmed that both the upgraded Tunguska system fielded by Almaz Ante and Pantsir by KBP Tula systems were not fully compliant during the trials. The South Korean company was the only one to qualify for the approximately $2.5 billion gun and missile system programme.

Though the contract with the South Korean company has yet to be inked, several representations have been made to the Ministry of Defence pointing out concerns related to the Hanwha’s system.

“There are a few issues relating to not only the 2D Doppler Radar offered but also the fact that the Hanwha’s K-30 Biho (Flying Tiger) twin 30mm short-range, mobile self-propelled anti-aircraft system, is outdated and a generation old,” said a source.

The RFP had specified that the gun system should be controlled by the radar and be capable to pick up small objects like small drones.

“The Russian Pantsir fielded by KBP Tula systems, is new generation and comes equipped with 3D radar with the capability of picking up small objects including drones. However, it has failed the 30-degree gradient test,” a senior officer said.

It may be noted that last year at the IRIGC-MTC meeting in New Delhi, the visiting Russia Defence Minister Gen Sergei Shoigu had expressed his displeasure about the upgraded Tunguska system and Pantsir being out of the programme.

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