Long-range missile set for launch test in Tel Aviv

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi, Jun 12 | Updated: Jun 14 2008, 03:55am hrs
The long-range surface to air missile (LRSAM), which is jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad with second biggest weapons supplier Israel, is ready to go for launch test to Tel Aviv.

The $350-million covered a joint Indian-Israeli development agreement in 2006 under the UPA government, to create a new medium shipborne air defense missile, based on the Barak system in service with both navies.

According to sources, under the contract Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and its Israeli partners have agreed to transfer all relevant technologies and manufacturing capabilities to India, and to start delivering in 65 months time.

The systems critical design review is complete, the 2-pulse rocket motor has been successfully tested statically and has been delivered to Israel for launch test. Sources said the test is scheduled to take place in June-end and early next month, and this will be followed by control and navigation test later this year.

While the initial funding is about $350 million, of which IAI will finance 50%, additional funding will be infused by both parties as needed. Israel also has projected some requirements for long-range Barak air defense systems, and it could source missiles and other systems from India, he said.

The agreement paves the way to meet the immediate requirements of the Indian Navy, the scientist said. Under this agreement, the Defence Research and Development Laboratory and IAI will develop six long-range Barak systems for Indias stealth warships. The Navy is procuring three such warships from Russia, and the remaining will be built by the state-owned Mazagon Docks.

A senior defence ministry official said there will be a transformation in the requirements of air defense systems for the three Indian military services. Based on these projections and the high cost of air defense systems, the ministry has approved the initiatives under which, state-owned agencies can forge joint co-development and co-production ventures with foreign companies.