India has emerged as one of largest buyers of defence equipment in recent years. The defence ministry last week announced that it would purchase 240 precision-guided bombs at a cost of Rs 1,254 crore from Russia's Rosoboron export. The smart KAB-1500 laser-guided bombs will be procured for Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets.
This procurement will address the deficiency of Precision Guided Munitions in the IAF arsenal, besides enhancing the offensive capabilities of the IAF.
Defence Ministry has also confirmed that it would buy 131 Barak Missiles and associated equipment from Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems at a cost of Rs. 460 crore
All about KAB-1500 bombs:
These bombs are going to be fitted to IAF's Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets. It is designed to destroy ground targets such as railway lines, ammunition depots, bridges, military facilities and ships. The bomb's warhead weighs 1,100 kilograms. The bomb has folding fins that allow it to manoeuvre while being guided to the target.
Unlike conventional bombs, these bombs can be guided after being dropped so that it can find the target precisely. Even when dropped from high altitude, guided bombs can deviate from the vertical path to the target by as much as 5 miles (8 km), allowing the aircraft to operate at a distance from the enemy and avoid the risk of direct contact.
It has a feathered semi-active laser homing head and an HE warhead. The KAB-1500 is comparable to America's Paveway II and Paveway III series and has been used by the Russian Air Force during its intervention in Syria. Some foreign analysts have estimated that certain versions of the KAB-1500 have a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of four to seven meters, meaning that 50 percent of the bombs would fall within that distance from their target. It is unclear which exact variant Moscow is selling to India.