India displayed its latest surface-to-air missile system, called the Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM), in a parade held on 26 January to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding. The new missile system is developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The MRSAM provides the armed forces with air defense capability against a variety of aerial threats at medium ranges. The proposed MRSAM, to replace the old Pechora missiles which currently in service of Indian Defense Forces.
India ordered one MRSAM regiment including 16 firing units and associated fire control systems and surveillance systems. A contract for the MRSAM programme was signed in February 2009. The IAF will buy 450 MRSAMs and 18 firing units at a value of more than $2bn. The missile launcher and the command post would be made in India, with the rest of the complex system – including the missile itself – to be made in Israel. IAI will reportedly supply India with 2,000 missiles capable of intercepting enemy aircraft and missiles within a 70-kilometer range.
The Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels. Under a contract with DRDO, Tata Advanced Systems designed and manufactured combat management systems for the MRSAM programme at its research and development (R&D) facility in New Delhi, India.
Bharat Dynamics (BDL) was the lead integrator for the MRSAM missile systems. BDL established a new production facility in Hyderabad with an investment of $100m to manufacture both MRSAM and LRSAM missiles. When operational, the facility will have the capacity to produce 100 missiles a year. Other contractors involved in the development of the MRSAM include Bharath Electronics (BEL), L&T, Elta, Rafael, and other private industries.