A contract has been reached between Russia and India to deliver “Igla-S” man-portable air defence missile systems. A licence for the localised production of the “Igla” in India is also a component of the agreement.
It was reported in November 2018 that Russia has emerged as the lowest bidder in the $3 billion procurement for the Very Short Range Air Defence System (VShoRAD) that the Indian Army required.
Mikheev stated that the company has already signed the required document and that, at this time, Rosoboronexport is coordinating the manufacturing of MANPADS “Igla-S” in India in conjunction with a private company from India. The commencement date of production and the identities of the Indian firms participating in the endeavour are kept confidential.
The “Igla-S” man-portable air defence missile system (MANPADS) is an essential component of a comprehensive air defence system, serving as an important deterrent against aviation threats. Its primary purpose is to engage low-flying aircraft.
The “Igla-S” is adept in countering airborne threats, including cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It can promptly identify these threats and deliver a response, irrespective of the time of day, any distracting ambient noise, or decoy missiles, which are false signals. Moreover, it is capable of engaging a multitude of visible aircraft and helicopters.
The “Igla-S” is a more tactical iteration of the “Igla” MANPADS designed to identify and target cruise missiles. This missile has a contemporary dual-channel optical homing system and a logical block.
The ” Igla-S ” enhanced functionalities in target identification and cruise missile destruction have positioned it as a more formidable operational variant of the “Igla” MANPADS.
The lethal reputation of the “Igla-S” is attributable to its larger warhead, laser proximity fuze, algorithm-determined optimal moment of detonation, and exceptional accuracy. The lethality of the warhead is further enhanced by the increased quantity of fragments and explosive charges it possesses.
Dmitry Shugaev, the acting director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation at the time, stated at the international forum “Army-2022” in Russia that the two companies are implementing licencing agreement-based plans for the supply and production of man-portable air defence missile systems.
Several months after Russia and India declared an imminent agreement on the “Igla-S” at the Aero India 2023 exhibition, a domestic production contract was recently executed. Vladimir Drozhov, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, conveyed optimism regarding India’s endorsement of the contract, stating that India is currently considering the contract for the supply and licenced production of Igla-S man-portable air defence missile systems.
India has experience with the implementation of “Igla-S” MANPADS. The Indian Army formally incorporated the systems gained through emergency procurement channels from Russia into its arsenal in April 2022.
According to a report published by Defence News, the potential cost of the transaction is expected to be as high as USD 1.5 billion.
As part of the Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) programme, the Indian government is in the process of replacing antiquated Soviet-made “Igla” systems with “Igla-S” modern man-portable anti-aircraft defence systems. According to the plans, New Delhi will purchase 5175 missiles and launchers from Russia. The Russian state agency has also suggested that the Indian state-owned business Bharat Dynamics Ltd. will build an additional 600 missiles. The Russian state agency will produce the remaining missiles.