India's Air Defence System
After reviewing the security situation along the Line of Control following the airstrike carried out by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan, the Indian Army is planning to move its air defence units to forward locations close to the border.
"Some of the fighting formations including air defence and other defensive formations are now planned to be moved closer to the borders," top Army sources told ANI.
"With these air defence units deployed closer to the border, we would be able to tackle any possible aerial strike from enemy side and thwart it close to the border itself," they said.
The air defence units deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan will be moved to forward locations to thwart aerial strikes from across the border, they said.
The air defence unit of the Army, which comes under Corps of Army Air Defence (AAD) and is currently led by Lt General A P Singh, includes the indigenous Akash sir air defence missile systems, Bofors 40 mm guns, old generation S-125 Neva/Pechora, 2K22 Tunguska and will now receive the latest MR-SAM air defence system which has been produced by the DRDO-Israel joint venture.
Following the airstrike carried out on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by IAF jets on February 26, Pakistan launched a major aerial attack through its F-16 fighter jets along the LoC.
While the MiG-21a and the Su-30MKIs of the Indian Air Force thwarted the attack and shot down one of the F-16s, the IAF felt it would have been able to inflict heavy damage on Pakistan during its unsuccessful aerial raid on February 27.
Pakistan Air Force has been consistently enhancing its air defence and offensive capabilities since the Kargil war in 1999 and there was a need for India to bolster its "technological asymmetry" for aerial combat.
At present, Pakistan has some edge with its fleet of F-16 jets with AMRAAM missile fitted with them, said an official.
However, the planned induction of Rafale aircraft with deadly Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) and S-400 air defence missile system will provide India a significant advantage over Pakistani Air Force.