Enhancing India’s Indigenous Defence Capabilities

Issue: 09-2021Photo(s): By IAI
(Left) IAI Heron; (Right) MRSAM induction ceremony

IAI has had a long-standing and fruitful relationship with India, and for decades, has been a strategic partner with India’s Air Force, Army, and Navy. IAI’s commitment to India’s defence needs are seen in the state-of-the-art systems that IAI has produced for and alongside the Indian defence ecosystem. IAI has prioritised the ‘Make in India’ policy in the many projects, ensuring that local companies and vendors in India have maximum operational independence. IAI’s ability to adapt its technological know-how to India’s specific needs has made the company a natural partner. An array of IAI systems, including IAI’s Heron UAS family, IAI-ELTA’s special mission aircraft, air defence systems, and other systems of systems serve as the right solution for India’s defence needs.

Building on over four decades of expertise, IAI’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are a prime example of the company’s state-of-the-art systems. The Heron 1, Heron MK II, and Heron TP are able to navigate extremely diverse regions and operate in challenging conditions. The Heron UAS family can suite military and law enforcement operations – including intelligence gathering, surveying borders, target missions, search and rescue, and others. The Heron UAS allows complex intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities over any terrain and in any weather conditions, including maritime patrol. The Heron’s sensors feed ISTAR data to the ground segment and tactical-level end users in real-time to provide the customer with an upper hand. Further, IAI’s local customers in India maneuver their own UAS all-level maintenance and receive support from IAI to ensure that the UAS’ potential is maximised. IAI’s commitment to providing the best UAS to its customers is evident in the systems’ success globally and IAI’s capability to adapt the systems to the customer’s needs.

In addition to the UAS Heron family, IAI’s comprehensive range of air defence systems serve as the right solution to India’s air defence needs. IAI state-of-the-art systems, like the MRSAM air and missile defence system, provide a single integrated solution for multiple simultaneous aerial threats from different sources and ranges. The system is tailor-made, and includes the MRSAM Battle Management Center, which creates and manages a unified multi-sensor aerial picture, coordinates the force operation networks and manages the launch arrays, and which is available in naval or land-based configuration. The MRSAM Interceptors have vertical launch capabilities supporting 360° coverage, quick reactions, short minimal ranges and an active high-end RF seeker for targets with low radar cross-sections and high maneuverability. MRSAM’s innovative, software-based approach offers exceptional flexibility in operation and power build-up and ensures simple adaptation to future threats. IAI’s air defence systems like MRSAM are also used as naval applications. Designed with a system of systems approach, IAI’s naval defence solutions integrate sensors, command, control and collaboration, with different types of interceptors for short, medium and long-range intercept, along with gunnery solutions for close-in defence. IAI’s ground-breaking technology is a testament to its advanced know-how, and its development in India shows a clear commitment to supporting the local defence economy.

In addition to UAS and air defence systems, IAI offers a wide range of other solutions, amongst them aircraft conversions. These include special-mission aircraft conversions and modernisations, such as the multi-mission tanker/transport B767 among others. IAI has upgraded thousands of aircraft, enhancing their operational capabilities and enabling operations performance that compares with newer models. This serves as a cost-effective alternative to purchasing extremely costly new helicopters. Further, IAI has in-house capabilities for performing military aircraft overhaul, refurbishment, retrofit, maintenance, repair and upgrade for aircraft from KFIR to F-16. IAI’s commitment to the ‘Make in India’ policy provides the local defence economy to benefit from such projects.

With a commitment to excellence and a proven ability to evolve with the ever-changing needs of the modern battlefield, IAI continues to develop advanced technologies with unmatched capabilities. IAI’s defence solutions elevate its customer’s ability to defend against a broad range of threats and provide the right solutions to the challenges ahead. IAI looks forward to continuing its partnership with the Indian defence ecosystem.