Air Force is now a very critical component of any military service in the world. Today’s wars are fought from a point of superiority, high in the sky. But what when attacks are launched on our bases by enemy aircrafts and there is no other way for the missile but to hit the target? Surely, the Air Force will not sacrifice its plane worth millions to become a target for the missile in the sky.
Then comes the Corps Army Air Defence (AAD). The AAD is tasked with defending the country from foreign threats. It protects the Indian air space from enemy aircraft and missiles, especially below 5,000 feet, where it highly impossible to intercept the threat by Air Force planes.
AAD Raising Day:
Just about a week ago, the Corps of Army Air Defence celebrated its 25th raising day, on 10th January. Although it was first raised in 1939 and took active participation in Second World War, it became an autonomous corps only on 10th January, 1994, the day it celebrates as its Raising Day.
The current Director General of Corps of Army Air Defence is Lt Gen Parminder Singh Jaggi.
The crest of AAD contains a silver missile, with radar antennae in gold colour fixed on the either side, designed by Vijay Singh of National Institute of Design. It exists by the motto “आकाशे शत्रुन् जहि ” (Kill The Enemy in Sky).
Weapons Possessed by the AAD:
The AAD has some top-notch weapon system that contains mostly Surface to Air Missiles.
- DRDO QRSAM
- FIM-92 Stinger
- Advance Air Defence
- S-400 Triumf
- Kub (SA-6 Gainful)
- S-125 Neva/Pechora
- 9K33 Osa (SA-8 Gecko)
- 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher)
- 9K22 Tunguska
- ZSU-23-4M ‘Shilka’
- Bofors 40 mm gun
- SA-18 Grouse
Training of AAD Personnel – AAD College:
The personnel of AAD are trained at Army Air Defence College (AADC) at Gopalpur cantonment, Odisha. It was previously known as Air Defence and Guided Missile School and Centre. AADC was established in 1989 as an autonomous body.
Soldiers of AAD are given a 2-month advanced training after their basic training while officers undergo both initial and regular refresher training. Regular training courses and programs for gunnery, advanced gunnery, and leadership is also conducted by AADC. Apart from soldiers of Indian Army, the school also trains the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and personnel from friendly foreign nations, tasked with the air defence systems.
The commandant of AADC is Lt Gen AP Singh, PhD.
As threats from the air play a decisive role in war, there is always a need to protect the vital static assets as well as retain the freedom to manoeuvre mobile combat forces with no or minimum interference from the skies. The onus lies on the Army Air Defence to overcome the increasing challenges from the air with the enemy using sound strategic/tactical concept and efficient AD weapon systems. An effective AD system is thus a force multiplier for all the combat forces giving them the freedom to carry out operational tasks optimally. – Lt Gen Ram Pratap