India, on Thursday, test fired a surface-to-air missile ‘Spyder’ from a test range in Odisha as part of missile launch practice of a series of tests of the short-range quick reaction. Speaking about the same an official told PTI that the trial was carried out for validating several parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further fortify India’s air defence system.
Spyder (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is an acquired missile system from Israel which is a short-range, quick reaction surface-to-air missile to neutralise enemy targets up to a distance of 15 km and at heights between 20-and-9,000 metres, the official added.
Spyder was test fired from a mobile launcher at launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur and targeted a pilot-less target aircraft, official informed further. Spyder is however, shorter than India’s indigenously developed surface-to-air ‘Akash’ missile, which has a strike range of 25 km. As per a report published by India Today website, the Indian Air Force (AIF) plans to use the air defence missile system on the western borders with an aim to strengthen its preparation to strike down any aerial threat from Pakistan.
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The report further informed that Spyder deal was inked by the IAF with Rafael and Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) in 2008. Though the supplies were supposed to start in three to four years, but the process got delayed due to the non-availability of Czech- made Tatra trucks, which got involved in a bribery allegation controversy.
Spyder is an all-weather missile which has an automatic process of engaging an aggressive aircraft or missile. According to an India Today report, besides aircraft and UAVs, it can also neutralise low-level cruise missiles.