Protection From Pakistani Missiles –– 
Arrow and Green Pine/S or S 300 PMU for India?

An IDC Analysis 


New Delhi, 20 April 2003

Thanks to the US led war on Iraq, Indian military and DRDO realise the acute need for setting up an anti-missile system to deter and withstand the Pakistani ballistic missile threat. Key Indian cities may be hit by Shaheen series and our vital installations can become the targets of Pakistani nuclear ballistic missiles with launching range of 1500 kms. Missile Defence is important since Yashwant Sinha and George Fernandes and BJP Defence Cell Chief Lt Gen N S Malik speak of attacking Pakistan, and then retract it in the next breath. The military has to be ready and they must move ahead just as the US/UK military was ready for the worst. The excuse “Ministry has not sanctioned” is not good enough. Our Government is not Sadam’s government.

The choice for missile defence hardware is not wide. The market offers the American Patriot, used in the Iraq war and Russian S-300 PMU1, S-300PMU2 and S-300VM anti-missile systems. Let us take you through the issue and hardware.

DRDO gave up on the 1993 designed Trishul (the Navy gave up two years ago) and the Akash could well be obsolete, so a search is on for anti-missile defences for India post the Iraq war. It is imperative. India’s deterrence demands that it protect itself from Pakistani missiles and in due course Chinese missiles, both can be nuclear tipped.

The Navy has seven older Barak-1 systems with the active guidance AMDR radar, which are very good and proven by Singapore. The latest Kashtan SAM (like the Tangushkas) is due to come on the Krivacks. The Kashmir is on the Delhi class with S-A-N 7s. The older valve technology Volna Pechora system is on the Rajput, Kashins, the OSA-M on other ships and the portable IGLA FAM 14 forms the Navy’s mainstay. This is good planning to cope with the Pakistani Navy’s Harpoons and other aerial missiles. PN’s surface ORBAT is down till the Chinese supply the Jeingwei frigates, or Uncle Sam gives its old Perry class, which India has also asked for, for costing. The Navy’s new ships Type 17, 15 and ADS on the anvil will need good gattling guns and a combined anti missile-missile. Americans Phalanx and Russians Kashtans are on offer.

The IAF have old squadrons of the Pechoras, Iglas and the OSA-AKM systems while the Army has the OSA-AKM, Tanguskas and Iglas. The command and control of air defence is not clear between the Army and the Air Force; and the Strategic Force Commander AM Asthana is working on this in Vayu Bhavan. ACM Krishnaswamy has stressed for more coordination of India’s air corridors.

Arrow and Green Pine

These were developed by the MLM Division of Israel Aircraft Industries. The system, codenamed Homa or Fence, was to be deployed in three batteries including one battery near Tel Aviv and one to the south of Haifa. The first trial battery became operational in 2000. The US Strategic Defence Initiative placed a contract on the Electronics Division of Israel Aircraft Industries to build and test the Chetz-1 (Hebrew name for Arrow 1) Anti Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) system.

The weight of the Arrow-1 was 2,000kg. The new missile, the Arrow-2, weighs 1,300kg, which was first tested in 1995. Arrow-2 successfully acquired, tracked and destroyed TM-91 Arrow missile targets from ranges of 60km and 100km. In February 2003, IAI signed an agreement with Boeing to establish the production infrastructure to manufacture components of the Arrow missile in the US. Boeing is responsible for the production of approximately 50% of the missile components in the US. Boeing will produce various missile components and co-ordinate the production of existing Arrow missile components already being manufactured by more than 150 American companies. IAI will be responsible for integration and final assembly of the missile in Israel.

An Arrow battery is equipped with typically four or eight launch trailers, each with six launch tubes and ready-to-fire missiles, a truck mounted Hazelnut Tree Launch Control Centre, a truck mounted communications centre, a trailer mounted Citron Tree fire control centre and the units of a mobile Green Pine radar system. There are microwave and radio data and voice communications Link-16 between the launch centre and the radar command and control centre. The launch system can be located up to 300km from the site selected for the radar command and control centre.

Arrow-2 ATBM Missile

The two-stage missile is equipped with solid propellant booster and sustainer rocket motors. The missile uses an initial burn to carry out a vertical hot launch from the container and a secondary burn to sustain the missile's trajectory towards the target at a maximum speed of Mach 9, or 2.5km/s. Thrust vector control is used in the boost and sustainer phases of flight. At the ignition of the second stage sustainer motor, the first stage assembly separates. The kill vehicle section of the missile, containing the warhead, fusing and the terminal seeker, is equipped with four aerodynamically controlled moving fins to give low altitude interception capability. The infrared seeker is an indium antimonite focal plane array developed by Raytheon (formerly Amber Engineering) and the Raytheon have the Phalanx with Rolling Missile RAM for the Navy.


The Elta Electronics subsidiary of IAI, which supplies UAVs and radars and Pods to India developed the Green Pine early warning and fire control radar for the Arrow system. The radar EL/M-2090 includes the trailer mounted antenna array, the power generator, a cooling system and a control centre. Green Pine is an electronically scanned, solid state, phased array radar operating at L-band in the range 500MHz to 1,000MHz, and was developed from the Elta Music phased array radar. Media reported India placed an order for the supply of two Elta Green Pine for use with India's air defence system against ballistic missiles. The first parts were delivered in 2001. Tadiran Electronics Limited is the prime contractor for the Citron Tree battle management / fire control centre. Citron Tree, which is trailer mounted, downloads the radar data along with data from other sources and uses powerful signal processing tools to manage the threat interceptions. The system has man-in-the-loop intervention capability at every stage.

The fire control and battle management centre has computer workstations for the Sky Situation Co-ordinator, Intelligence Officer, Post Mission Analysis, Resource Officer and Senior Engagement Officer as well as the Commander's station. The workstations display a large electronic map showing the area of battle. Predicted and confirmed launch sites are colour coded to show priority sites. Link-16, Tadil-J, communications is being developed to allow inter-operability with PEC-2 Patriot fire control units like used in the Iraq war. Assigned targets can be handed over to the Patriot's N/MPQ fire control radar. Tests carried out by the US and Israel have successfully linked the Arrow and US Patriot and also the Arrow and Israeli Defence Force Patriot version.

As distinct from its counterparts the Patriot system does not have own means for searching and detecting ballistic missiles. In the course of the war on Iraq, the detection of Scuds was executed by beyond-the-horizon radar located in Turkey and satellite and JSTARS reconnoitering system. It is hardly reasonable to connect the security of India, or any other country for that matter, with the inclination of Americans. Hence DRDO is groping for solutions.

It should be added that the Arrow along with Patriot were optimized for destruction of conventional carrier missiles or as a last resort the chemical warheads. The Pakistani missiles as distinct from the Iraqi or Iranian ones can be tipped with nuclear warheads, which are less vulnerable and could be too tough for the Arrow. There is one more disadvantage of Arrow and this is its “narrow specialization” because in contrast to its counterparts this system is practically unable to fight aircraft. The low limit of target engagement zone of Arrow is 8 kilometers. Therefore it will be necessary to deploy the additional antiaircraft means for protecting the Arrow positions against the attack of enemy aircraft.

When analyzing the carriers of air strike means, which the Patriot and Arrow have to withstand, one can come to the conclusion that these systems are capable to intercept about 50% of their stock-list.

Russians claim Indians can possess distinct advantage over their American and Israeli counterparts in fighting missiles by the Russian S-300PMU1 system. The development of the S-300PMU2 are close to the American and Israeli systems in the assortment of ballistic missiles they are able to intercept. The marked feature of all Russian systems is their ability for rapid change of firing position, which greatly enhances their survivability in modern war conflicts.

The Pakistani ballistic missiles threatening India are very similar to the onetime American Pershing-2 missiles. For that Russia had developed the S-300VM (Antey-2500) SAM system. The Pershing-2 missile was equipped with detachable nuclear warhead possessing very low radar cross-section and fired to 2500 kilometers. The Russian have created the anti-missile system capable of fighting this threat effectively. When judged as a target to be intercepted the Pershing-2 warhead was more sophisticated target than its present Pakistani counterpart.

The S-300VM is capable of intercepting the low-signature ballistic warheads with speed of 4500 meters per second and carried by missile launched from the range of 2500 kilometers. The system has in its composition the specialized mobile radar capable within three seconds to detect the warhead and simultaneously to pass the data for its engagement. The additional advantage of S-300VM system is its ability to “force out” the enemy jammer aircraft and airborne command posts from their loitering positions beyond the 200 km limit, which is the engagement range of the SAM system.

The other missile defense means are able to cover about 40% of country territory from the Shaheen-1 missile or missiles with a shorter range. But these regions could be exposed to strikes of more dangerous Shaheen-2 or all types of Ghauri missiles, which can be intercepted by Antey-2500 SAM system only. Consequently, with the exception of the Antey-2500 system, there are no other anit-missile systems capable to protect every target within Indian territory from Pakistani ballistic missiles with launching range longer than that of Shaheen-I. Pakistani specialists adhere to the opinion that missile of Ghauri-2 and Shaheen-2 class is sufficient for ensuring the security of their country. From this issue the conclusion is drawn than the declarations about creation of Pakistani missiles with extended range are mainly of propagandistic character.

The comparison of combat capability of different existing anti-missile systems proves that the S-300 VM is a good system capable to ensure defense not only from all type of aircraft, cruise missiles and helicopters but it is qualified to intercept to-day and in the near future all missiles from Pakistan. In case Pakistan increases the missile launching range over 2500 kilometers its interception will require the modernization of radars and by then Phalcon / A 50 type AWACS will be with the IAF. Russians have just disclosed in the Russian Mirror that they are engaged in development of new S-400 SAM and C200 long range systems with Don 2 radar. The Director General of Concern ANTEY Yuri Svirin has declared that the S-300V SAM system is definitely not the last member of this family.

(With Inputs from Sayan Mazumdar)

Disclaimer   Copyright