IN­DIAN ARMY RE­CEIVES FIRST UP­GRADED SCHILKA AIR DE­FENCE SYS­TEM FROM BEL

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

The Bharat Elec­tron­ics Limited (BEL) has de­liv­ered the first mod­ernised ZSU-23-4 Schilka air de­fence weapon sys­tem to the In­dian Army at its fa­cil­ity in Ben­galuru. In March 2011, the state-owned company re­ceived a con­tract to up­grade ap­prox­i­mately 90 of the army’s age­ing Schilka sys­tems, which were ac­quired from Rus­sia in the early 1980s, as re­ported by Indo Asian News Ser­vice. BEL said in a state­ment: “Schilka is an all-weather, self-pro­pelled, tracked, low-level air de­fence weapon sys­tem and its up­graded ver­sion has search-cum-track dig­i­tal radar, with [an] elec­troop­ti­cal fire con­trol sys­tem.

“The army has given clear­ance for bulk pro­duc­tion of the en­hanced weapon sys­tem, whose main en­gine, aux­il­iary en­gine, in­te­grated fire de­tec­tion, sup­pres­sion sys­tem, nu­clear, biological and chem­i­cal fil­ter and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem have also been up­graded.”

Un­der the first phase of the con­tract, the company up­graded a to­tal of 48 tanks, with the re­main­ing units set to be mod­ernised in

the sec­ond phase. As part of the up­grade, the radar, anal­ogy com­puter and en­gine were re­placed with ad­vanced sys­tems, and an air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem was added for crew com­fort. The ad­di­tion of an elec­troop­ti­cal sys­tem that can op­er­ate in par­al­lel with the radar en­ables ac­cu­rate iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, ac­qui­si­tion and track­ing of tar­gets while op­er­at­ing in an elec­tronic coun­ter­mea­sure en­vi­ron­ment. Ac­cord­ing to BEL, the up­graded Schilkas can fire aerial tar­gets while on move and can en­gage en­emy at­tack air­craft and he­li­copters dur­ing day or night and in all-weather con­di­tions. In ad­di­tion, the sys­tem can ac­cept cue­ing from ex­ter­nal surveil­lance radar and is ex­pected to pro­vide im­prove­ments in op­er­a­tional per­for­mance, ac­cu­racy, power con­sump­tion and mean-time be­tween fail­ures.

Man­u­fac­tured by Mytishchi En­gi­neer­ing Works (MMZ), the Schilka is a lightly ar­moured, self-pro­pelled, radar-guided anti-air­craft weapon sys­tem, armed with 23mm guns fea­tur­ing four bar­rels for a high rate of fire.

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