- Feb 23, 2009
India To Drop Joint Missile Plan With France
After last week’s visit of the Indian Prime Minister to France, India has indicated that it will not go ahead with the development of a missile defence system in a joint venture which France has been offering since 2008.
Senior Defence Ministry sources said that a $500-million (proposal from European missile maker MDBA to jointly produce low-level quick reaction missiles (LLQRM) or short-range surface-to-air missiles (SR-SAMs) was “not happening”. The missile development project was called “Maitri” project.
The “Maitri” missile project was to be a technological collaboration between European missile maker MBDA, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and defence public sector unit Bharat Dynamics Limited. The LLQRMS were to be designed to replace the outdated OSA-AK Soviet-era missile defence systems for the Indian Navy
and the Air Force.
The recent denial from India has also upset the DRDO’s plan to put into action the experience it gained in developing indigenous missile (“Akash” short range missile which was aborted) and fuse that knowledge with the advance seeker and guidance systems from MBDA’s MICA missile.
Meanwhile, the junking of the “Maitri” missile project may have a positive effect on Israel. It may be noted that in 2007, the Indian Air Force contracted 18 Spyder missile systems for about $395.4 million from Israel in which Rafael was the contractor with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) being the major sub-contractor. However, IAI was blacklisted by the Indian Defence Ministry in May 2009. However, the ban on the various firms may be lifted soon.
Israel is currently trying to tap the Indian missile market since India’s military is in need of at least 1,000 short-range surface-to-air missiles. India will be the launch customer for Rafael’s Spyder missile system.
India To Drop Joint Missile Plan With France | India Defence Online