Even as the Indian Army has entered the global market to buy short-range surface-to-air missile defence systems, Russia is keen to offer its anti-missile system Tor-M2KM to India, with the latter slated to undergo a series of tests. Exhibited outside of Russia for the first time, a fully operational combat model of the Tor-M2KM anti missile system was displayed at the Defexpo-2014 exhibition held in Delhi recently. Defence purchases have risen from just over $200 million in 2001 to over $14 billion currently. As part of the recently announced tender for 52 short-range air defence systems to form two missile regiments in the Indian Army, Russia has decided to test a modified version of the Tor-M2KM mounted on a wheeled chassis manufactured by Tata Motors. Incidentally, Tata Motors also unveiled two new combat vehicles at Defexpo 2014. The Kestrel, an 8×8 wheeled armoured amphibious vehicle designed and developed indigenously by Tata and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and the Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicle (LAMV), also developed indigenously, with technical input from Supacat, were showcased on the occasion. Visitors to the Defexpo-2014 were able to check out a real combat model, said Mr Vyacheslav Kartashov, Kupol’s assistant director for military technical cooperation and government orders. According to the company, Tor-M2KM is a highly versatile air defence system that can be mounted on a wide variety of platforms, including railway cars, rooftops and ships. Mr Yuri Baykov, spokesman for Mr Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer, has said that the versatile nature of the Tor-M2KM missile significantly enhances the scope of its operational deployment, as the system can be used to protect stadiums from airborne attacks during large sports events.
The main mission is to neutralise precision guided weapons, the spokesman added. The Tor-M2KM is equipped with modern electronics and radar capable of detecting and handling up to 48 targets, displaying information on the 10 most dangerous ones, and destroying four air targets simultaneously. Mr Rahul Madhavan, who leads the aerospace and defence sector with the US-India Business Council, noted in a statement, “Our two democratic governments have made tremendous progress in advancing technology release procedures and streamlining the acquisition process to accommodate two bureaucracies. While seeking to advance our industrial cooperation, we also hope to advance our defence and strategic partnership.”