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India test-fires ‘Spyder’ surface-to-air missile from Odisha test range

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On May 11, 2017, India test fired ‘Spyder’ surface-to-air-missile at a test range in Odisha. This trial was conducted for validating several parameters of the sophisticated weapon system in order to strengthen India’s air defence system.

About ‘Spyder’:

It has been acquired from Israel. It was originally a short range air-to-air defence system, but was later modified to be used as surface-to-air defence system.

  • Spyder defence system comprises two missiles – Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby with active on board radar that makes it even more deadly. Both of these missiles are India test-fires ‘Spyder’ surface-to-air missile from Odisha test rangesmokeless, thus they cannot be visually detected nor can their launch positions be traced.
  • It can strike enemy targets within a range of 15 km and at heights between 20-and-9,000 metres
  • It has a shorter strike range as compared to India’s indigenously developed surface-to-air ‘Akash’ missile, which can neutralise enemy targets up to 25 km range.
  • Indian Air Force had made the Spyder deal with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) in year 2008.

Test of ‘Spyder’:

Testing of Spyder was carried out from a mobile launcher at launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

  • The missile was fired thrice at ‘Banshee’, a UK-made pilot-less target aircraft. The test was successful as missiles hit the target with precision.
  • Banshee has been developed by UK-based engineering company Meggitt PLC. Mumbai-based Sure Safety Solutions (SSS) and Meggitt PLC have jointly set up a unit at Gopalpur in Ganjam district of Odisha for assembling unmanned aerial targets.

Deployment of ‘Spyder’ and ‘Akash’ Missile:

  • ‘Spyder’ and ‘Akash’, both the missiles are in the process of deployment along the border.
  • The Indian Air Force (AIF) is planning to use air defence missile system on the western borders of India, to neutralise any aerial threat from Pakistan.