How Israel's Derby missile can change the game for India's fighter Tejas
Updated: Mar 07, 2020, 11:47 PM(IST)
The reason why India's defense establishment is tilting towards the Derby missile is because it can be integrated into different types of fighter aircraft and can also be used as a surface-to-air missile for the Spyder air defense system.
The Indian defence forces in recent years have made special effort to ramp up its air defence.
A case in point was the Russian S-400 missile system brought by India.
With the deployment of S-400 still some years away, Indian forces are relying on Israel's SPYDER defence system (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) which is a quick reaction, low-level missile system which can bring down a target 15 kms away at a height of 9,000 metres.
India had in fact completed the deal way back in 2008 with Israel's Rafael but due to logistics issue, the missile couldn't be deployed.
The SPYDER along with Israel's Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (IMRSAM) system are the key defence system for India.
Defence Research and Development Organisation
The Derby missile was also used for India's SpyDer air defence system, also developed by Israel.
The DRDO even tweeted a photo of the "ski-jump" at the Shore Based Test Facility INS Hansa in Goa.
In a tweet, the DRDO said it was "one more step in launch capability expansion for LCA Navy."
India's naval aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya has the facility to successfully pull off the "ski-jump".
Indian Air Force likely to use the Israeli I-Derby air-to-air missiles
Reports had emerged last year of the Indian Air Force likely to use the Israeli I-Derby air-to-air missiles for its Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters in the next two years.
Clearly, India's defense mindset has been tilting towards the sophisticated Israeli defense machine which has in the last few years won the confidence of its elite fighting units both on land and at sea.
Derby’s variants-I-Derby and I-Derby ER
In fact, India's Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) had successfully launched the Tejas studded with the Derby missile from Israel and the Close Combat Missiles (CCM) from Israel.
The Derby missile purchased by the Indian Navy was for the now-retired fleet of Sea Harriers purchased from Britain in 1983. The Derby missile was also used for India's Spyder air defence system, also developed by Israel.
Derby’s variants-I-Derby and I-Derby ER (Extended Range) was unveiled in Aero India five years ago.
India increasing it's arsenal from Israel
India has been steadily increasing its arsenal from Israel.
In fact, India had placed orders for Israeli Python and Derby missiles way back in 2008.
The capability of the Israeli SPICE bombs is already well known.
Reports had emerged last year that the government had ordered a stockpile of missiles from Russia after the Balakot strikes to boost the Air Force especially after one of India's MiG-21 was brought by Pakistan.
'We can detect underwater, surface or aerial enemies'
The Russian leader's boast comes days after military officials announced tests of advanced new weapons, some of which come from an arsenal Putin has described as "invincible."
"The Russian navy today has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our country and our national interests," he said.
"We can detect underwater, surface or aerial enemies and target them if a lethal strike is necessary," Putin said according to a broadcast on state television.
Derby missile with a range of 50 kilometres
The Derby missile with a range of 50 kilometres is a perfect fit to replace the Russian air-to-air missiles.
India is now faced with several forces both on land and at sea, including on international waters with China seeking to play a greater role.
India's defense forces are now gearing up for a decade of disruption in which it will be hard pressed to find out-of-the-box solutions with precision accuracy which may well be decided on its missile capability.