Spyder Anti Missile System
Surface launched python and derby missile is known as Spyder, python is a infrared guided heat seeking missile, where derby is an radar guided BVR missile, both missiles can lock the target before or after launching the Missiles, simply known as lock on after/before launch, these missiles are the derivatives of Fighter launched Python and Derby,both Python and Derby is fire and forget missiles, that can be launched in ripple fire mode to intercept large number of hostile flying objects, two version of Spyder is available, one is the SR version, having a four cell launcher vehicle with a EL/M 2016 ATAR 3D AESA Radar, and the MR version comes with eight cell launcher with much powerful EL/M-2084 MMR 3D AESA radar. while all of them have same limited range of upto 25 km only.
With the increasing threats from Chinese and Pakistani long range cruise missiles, IAF has a challenge to secure it's air bases from enemy low flying cruise missiles, and heavy bombs, at that time IAF has no real fire and forget quick reaction SAM batteries which is also capable to shoot very low flying loitering UAV's and low flying cruise missiles, Air force planned to buy a SAM system which can detect and shoot such low flying threats, and floated a RFI in early 2000, and many foreign countries like West, US, Israel and Russia offered their advanced systems, after effective field trails, IAF impressed with the Israeli Spyder's performance. any how due to the leftist parties protest the deal was stalled, and IAF has no other option than the Israeli offer, most of the Israeli offers are very handy to the IAF, they allows the Indians to whatever they can do, they don't hesitate to supply the Spares and missiles when India steps in a war.
After some years of delay, the Defense ministry finally signed the deal with the Israeli's. and within a year Israeli's started delivering those missiles and launchers to IAF, as per the initial deal the IAF receives some 108 Spyder MR Launching units, Radar's and command posts for some $260 millions, and the exact information about the missile delivery is not available, it's believed IAF may bought some 1500 missiles, as 50-50 of Derby and Python, and many open sources reported that India bought the MR SAM system, means the eight cell launcher, where the exact information remains secret. and it's deployed area's also not available for public's. mostly they are somewhere in eastern and western frontiers.
The IAF has ordered some 18 batteries, so it's means one Spyder web consists of six Spyder launchers plus a single Radar and command posts. also Israeli's has no problems of using Indian made trucks for transporting, currently IAF using the TATA trucks for Transporting those missiles and launchers, the IAF is so familiar with the EL/M-2084 Multi Mission 3D AESA radar, and Israel allows India to reverse engineer the Radar to make a desi version, the desi version is called as Arudhra, the MMR radar is not just a surveillance radar, it act as a weapon locating radar, and fire control radar too, even those EL/M Radar systems guides the Israeli Air force fighter to attack the exact location of hamas rocket launching positions, the known Iron dome uses the EL/M 2084 for surveillance and fire control.
The Spyder missile system can capable to detect very low flying loitering targets, like UAV's and Cruise missiles, the operational target engagement altitude is twenty meters to 9000 meters, where the typical cruise missile can fly, the Spyder can shoot down both sub sonic and supersonic cruise missiles, interestingly the Spyder system can work with both MR and SR versions, the Python and Derby missiles has the lock on after launch capability which gives the missiles single shot confirm kill probability, the Spyder missiles can launched from the cell within five seconds once the hair trigger pressed and the target was identified as hostile, interestingly the Spyder systems comes with infrared search and track system too, even if the Radar was compromised the Spyder launcher unit can launch the missile against threats, like how fighter air crafts switch off their radar and guide those missiles using IRST,
The Missile system is highly network centric system, means even if enemy comes in large numbers with variety of flying machines, the Spyder's MMR radar can mark each targets and ripple launch those missiles for high probability kill in single shot, such scenario was tested only by the Americans as of now, by using standard missiles to destroy Ballistic, Cruise and air craft targets with 100% kill probability, same can be done by the Spyder too, except those ballistic missile, the spyder will engage the Ballistic missiles,however the small missile won't make huge damage to the monster sized ballistic missiles,
Currently those missile defense systems are being used by Peru and Singapore along with Indians, It's believed that IAF already received all those ordered Spyder systems and all of them under operational.