MBDA Italy and Pakistan have started to negotiate the expansion of the surface to air Spada 2000 system for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
The PAF ordered Spada 2000 Plus in 2007 as part of a deal worth more than 500 million of dollars. This included deliveries of ten batteries and a significant amount of offset for local industries including the construction of two maintenance and testing facilities in Karachi.
The first battery was delivered in February 2010 and the order is expected to be completed in 2013. Since then, Spada 2000 Plus was test fired at least twice and the system is now in service with the Air Force.
Spada 2000 Missile System
Now the PAF is reported to be exploring the option under the contract for the delivery of three to five additional batteries. In this context the Pakistan Army and Navy have also expressed an interest in purchasing Spada 2000 missile system from MBDA Italy (Italian division of the missile European giant MBDA).
The Pakistan Army would use the Spada system to protect its ground forces from threats such as UAVs, light attack aircraft and is also capable of intercepting air-launched missiles. The Naval interest in the system is emerging due to the need for increased protection of the major naval bases as Karachi and Gwadar. So other interesting opportunities in Pakistan could emerge for MBDA Italy with the potential for up to 15 or 20 new Spada 2000 batteries.
Spada 2000 represents an evolution of the Spada air defence system in use with Italian Air Force since Eighties. The major improvement was the introduction of the new Aspide 2000 missile which featured an increased engagement range and was introduced in the second half of Nineties.
Generally a standard Spada 2000 battery has a detection centre, hosted in a modularised shelter with air surveillance RAC-3D radar, and two firing sections. The firing section has two missile launchers, with six ready-to-fire missiles each, and a tracking and an illumination radar. Spada 2000 is able to detect targets up to 60 km and intercept them up to 25 km with Aspide 2000 missile.
Image Copyright: Polligono Interforze Salto Di Quirra Image Caption: ASPIDE 2000 SPADA 2000 Firing