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Air Defense: Spyders Overrun India
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August 26, 2009: The Indian Army has been allowed to buy Israeli air defense systems to protect its most important bases from air attack. Last year, the Indian Air Force finally got the Israeli Spyder anti-aircraft system, after several years of battling the Indian procurement bureaucrats. The Indian Air Force had had originally wanted to buy 24 Israeli Spyder anti-aircraft missile systems, but ended up settling for 18. The army is still negotiating with the bureaucrats and politicians on the size of the order.

Spyder is a mobile, short range system using, as many such systems do these days, air-to-air missiles. Spyder launchers (truck mounted, with four box like launch cells each) can carry either the Python 5 heat seeking missile (ten feet long, 231 pounds, with a range of 15 kilometers) or the Derby radar guided missile (11.2 feet long, 267 pounds, with a range of 65 kilometers). The Derby is actually a larger Python, with more fuel and a different guidance system.

Each Spyder system has four missile launcher trucks, a radar truck and a missile re-supply truck. Each system costs about $11 million. Spyder radar system has a maximum range of 100 kilometers. The missiles can hit targets as high as 28,000 feet and as low as 65 feet. Deliveries will begin in 2011.

Israel has become the second largest supplier (after Russia) of military equipment to India. Previous purchases include UAVs and sensors for the Kashmir border. India has been satisfied with the Israeli equipment. But as the purchases climbed past the billion dollar mark, allegations of bribery began to appear. There was also a lot of opposition from leftist politicians, to buying from Israel. But the military knows Israeli weapons and equipment provide the best value for the money, and have kept pushing for these purchases.

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doggtag       8/26/2009 2:35:38 PM
"Spyder launchers (truck mounted, with four box like launch cells each) can carry either the Python 5 heat seeking missile (ten feet long, 231 pounds, with a range of 15 kilometers) or the Derby radar guided missile (11.2 feet long, 267 pounds, with a range of 65 kilometers). The Derby is actually a larger Python, with more fuel and a different guidance system. "
 
What needs to be taken into account when using AAMs as SAMs is, they don't fly as far when being used from ground launchers.
The surface-launched Sea Sparrow never had the range that many late-model Sparrows and Sparrow-based look-alikes (SkyFlash, Aspide) had when fired from aircraft.
And if AMRAAMs in SLAMRAAM surface-launched mode can't fly out to their >50km air-launched ranges (conservative number using early model AIM-120s), then I'd love to see how the Israelis manage to get 60km or better from a missile that is physically smaller than an AMRAAM.
If they can muster a Derby to 60+km in a surface-launched config, then maybe the US is wasting money on SLAMRAAM altogether....?
If so, then we've found the perfect SAM to equip LCS ships from a mission module.
 
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LB    Just the Facts   8/26/2009 9:02:10 PM
The range of the Spyder system when using Derby is listed as 35 km in every citation I have seen including that of Rafael except in the system brochure by Rafael where the MR system intercept range is listed at 50 km.  I believe the max altitude of the system is 9 km for Python and 16 km for Derby so the listed max altitude of 28,000 ft is not correct.  Moreover, the range of Derby air to air is generally listed as 50 km.  In any case it's not 100% what the specs of the system are nor how effective it might be.  It looks like the system will also be sold to Singapore along with a tech transfer to one of their companies.  Singapore has a reputation for normally buying very good kit.
 
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