India has deployed state-of-the-art rapid-response surface-to-air missile systems in the eastern region of Ladakh, amid growing tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

An Indian Akash short-range air defense missile launcher attends the 2013 Seoul (South Korea) International Space and Defense Exhibition. Photo: AFP
An Indian Akash short-range air defense missile launcher attends the 2013 Seoul (South Korea) International Space and Defense Exhibition. Photo: AFP

The move comes after China strengthened its deployment of fighters and helicopters to areas near LAC, according to ANI news agency (India) on June 28.

“As part of the ongoing build-up in the sector, the air defense systems of both Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed in the sector to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there”, ANI quoted Indian officials as saying.

According to sources, China has deployed heavy fighters such as the Sukhoi-30 and strategic bombers, to locations near the area where a fight between soldiers of the two countries east of Ladakh on June 15. Chinese planes were seen flying about 10 km from the Sino-Indian border.

India has an Akash surface-to-air missile system, with a range of about 25-30 km, a maximum altitude of 20 km. It can intercept targets such as fighters, helicopters, missiles to unmanned aircrafts. The Akash system has also been upgraded to be deployed in the Ladakh mountainous region, according to ANI.

The Akash close-range missile system has been researched and developed by India since the 1990s, manufactured in 2009. A standard Akash battery has 4 vehicles: command vehicle, radar, resupply, generator… One system is equivalent to one regiment, protecting an area of nearly 5,000 km2.

The Akash system can track up to 64 targets simultaneously and can launch up to 12 missiles at the same time.

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