Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared a deal for procurement of Medium Range Surface to Air Defence Missile (MR-SAM) system from Israel at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the missile deal, sources said.
The system, jointly developed by India’s Defence Research And Development Organisation and Israeli Aircraft Industry, is capable of shooting down enemy missiles and aircraft at a strike range of 50 km to 70 km. DRDO had also developed indigenous air defence systems such as the Trishul and the Akash.
India and Israel are jointly developing similar systems for the Air Force and the Navy. The Air Force had got clearance for its MR-SAM programme and the deliveries will begin soon. The Navy programme is known as Long Range Surface to Air Missile system (LR-SAM) and would be set on its warships.
As per the proposal cleared by the government, the Army will induct over five regiments of the MR-SAM missile which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles of the system.
Each MR-SAM weapon system comprises of one command and control system, one tracking radar, missiles, and mobile launcher systems.
The MR-SAM missile is equipped with an advanced active radar radio frequency (RF) seeker, advanced rotating phased array radar and a bidirectional data link. The RF seeker, located in the front section of the missile, is used to detect moving targets in all weather conditions.
The MR-SAM surface -to air-missile is powered by a dual-pulse solid propulsion system developed by DRDO.
The propulsion system, coupled with a thrust vector control system, allows the missile to move at a maximum speed of Mach 2. The weapon has the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously at ranges of 70km.
The MR-SAM is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels.
The weapon is 4.5m-long, weighs approximately 276kg, and is equipped with canards and fins for control and manoeuvrability.
“The delivery of the first system for the Army units will begin in 72 months of the signing of the contract and they would be ready for deployment in field areas by the year 2023,” the official from the MoD added.