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India
13 May 2017

India test fires Spyder surface to air missile system

Spyder missiles: India's new air defence weapon

Amidst escalating tensions with Pakistan, India recently successfully tested Spyder missiles acquired from Israel, taking it one step closer to their deployment along the borders.

The test was conducted at the Chandipur Integrated Testing Range in Orissa against an unmanned aerial target and intended to gauge the missile's operational readiness and validate various other parameters.

Let us find out more about these missiles!

In context

Spyder missiles: India's new air defence weapon

Its a success!

The missile has been test fired thrice over the past three days against the Banshee unmanned aircraft developed in the UK. ''The tests were successful as the missile hit the target as coordinated,'' official sources noted.

What are Spyder missiles?

About

What are Spyder missiles?

The Surface to air Python and Derby (Spyder) systems were designed by Rafael as a short range air-to-air defence system, which has been modified into a surface-to-air system with a strike range of about 15 km.

It launches two different types of missiles (Python and Derby) off the same launch pad and is equipped with an on-board radar, making it highly precise.

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Development of Spyder

Originally designed by Israel based defense company Rafael, India acquired the system from Israel after Indian Air Force signed a development deal with the Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael in 2008.

Key features

What are the advantages of Spyder missile systems?

The inbuilt radar enables the system to detect and quickly strike a wide range of airborne targets including aircraft, drones and low level cruise missiles.

Moreover, it works on the "fire and forget" principle, where the missile does not require to be guided toward the target after firing.

Further, both Python and Derby are smokeless helping them evade easy visual detection.

Analysis

What now?

Once deployed, Spyder is expected to bolster India's border defence. It further equips India with a portable deterrent capability.

It is likely to be inducted into the Indian Army for a fast reaction defence cover from aerial threats.

It can be deployed to defend key bases and headquarters along the border or to provide cover to moving army columns including troops and tanks.

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