The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to develop new surface-to-air missiles and man portable anti-tank guided missile in the next few years.

DRDO chief and Indian defence minister scientific adviser Avinash Chander was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying: "We are going to have surface-to-air missile[s], which will be on the move, tracking. We are also working [on] missiles … [that] stop and launch within a few seconds.

"The aim is [in the] next five years you will see at least five different types of missiles."

"We are also working on man-portable anti-tank missile[s], which can be fired from shoulders. We are planning to bring out these systems within the next four years."

India has reduced the timeframe for a missile development to four to five years from the previous eight to ten years, according to Chander. He added: "The aim is [in the] next five years you will see at least five different types of missiles covering different spectrums altogether."

The missiles are expected to be designed for different roles, including surface-to-surface, anti-tank, cruise, longer range and strategic.

Specifically, the short-range surface-to-air missile is likely to have two vehicle configurations, and will be supplied to the Indian Army.

Discussing other DRDO projects, Chander said: "We are working on other variations also, so that we have [a] total envelope of surface-to-air capabilities.

"In future, we will aim to work on [a] longer range missile of 200-plus kms. We are working on cruise missiles, which will cover ship launch, air launch, submarine launch and ground launch versions.

"We are expecting the second test-launch of [the] Nirbhay (missile) to happen within a month."

When questioned about when India would stop missile imports, Chander said: "Our target is thereafter (2022) we should not have to import any class of missiles."

The DRDO has recently been ordered by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete weapons development programmes on time, in a bid to make the country a global leader in defence.

Defence Technology